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When we move together: the neural correlates of joint action

06 July 2011

PhD ceremony: mw. I. Kokal, 14.45 uur, Doopsgezinde kerk, Oude Boteringestraat 33, Groningen

Dissertation: When we move together: the neural correlates of joint action

Promotor(s): prof. C. Keysers

Faculty: Medical Sciences


The aim of this thesis was to study brain activity during social interaction between two people. Using functional MRI (fMRI) the brain activity of participants was measured during experiments in which they played a cooperation game and drum with drum partners. The results of the cooperation game suggest that dynamically coupling one’s own actions to those of others involves a brain circuitry that goes beyond the mirror neuron system. The drumming experiment demonstrated that a reward area, the caudate, was triggered during synchronised drumming. This activity predicted the number of pencils the participant would pick up to help the synchronous drum partner. Thus, our brain transforms synchronised activity into basic reward activity, which then, through the caudate, influences future decisions to act altruistically toward the person with whom the synchronised activity is being performed.


Last modified:15 September 2017 3.40 p.m.

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