Physiological Synchronization is Associated with Narrative Emotionality and Subsequent Behavioral Response

Bracken, B.1*, Alexander, V.2*, Zak, P.2, Romero, V.1, and Barraza, J.2

Accepted to Lecture Notes in Computer Science 8534:3-13, and presented at the 16th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCII), Crete, Greece (June 2014). 

Neurophysiological compliance is a correlation of neurophysiological measures (synchronicity) between individuals. Higher compliance among team members is related to better performance, and higher synchronicity occurs during emotional moments of a stimulus. The aim of the current study is to examine whether synchrony may be observable via peripheral nervous system (PNS) activity. We used inter-subject correlation (ISC) analysis to assess whether synchronicity of PNS measures are related to stimulus emotionality or similarity in behavioral responses. Participants viewed a 100-second emotional video, followed by an appeal to donate experimental earnings to a related charity.

We found high ISC for cardiac and electrodermal activity (EDA) between donors versus non-donors. For both groups, we found an association between ISC of cardiac activity and emotional moments in the stimulus. For non-donors we found an association between ISC of EDA and emotional moments. Our findings indicate that PNS measures yield similar results to neurophysiological measures.

1 Charles River Analytics
Claremont Graduate University, Center for Neuroeconomics Studies
* Bracken and Alexander are co-first authors

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