Hyperscanning studies, wherein brain activity is recorded from multiple participants simultaneously, offer an opportunity to investigate interpersonal dynamics during interactive tasks at the neurophysiological level. In this study, we employed a dyadic juggling paradigm and electroencephalography (EEG) hyperscanning to evaluate functional connectivity between EEG sources within and between jugglers' brains during individual and interactive juggling. We applied graph theoretical measures to identify significant differences in functional connectivity between the individual and interactive juggling conditions. Connectivity was measured in multiple juggler pairs with various skill levels where dyads were either skill-level matched or skill-level unmatched. We observed that global efficiency was reduced during paired juggling for less skilled jugglers and increased for more skilled jugglers. When jugglers were skill-level matched, additional reductions were found in the mean clustering coefficient and small-world topology during interactive juggling. A significant difference in hemispheric brain lateralization was detected between skill-level matched and skill-level unmatched jugglers during interactive juggling: matched jugglers had an increased right hemisphere lateralization while unmatched jugglers had an increased left hemisphere lateralization. These results reveal multiple differences in functional brain networks during individual and interactive juggling and suggest that similarities and disparities in individual skills can impact inter-brain dynamics in the performance and learning of motor tasks.
Keywords: EEG; graph theory; hyperscanning; interactive juggling; skill-level.
Copyright © 2019 Stone, Tamburro, Filho, di Fronso, Robazza, Bertollo and Comani.