In the latter a study, The researchers observed the brain activity of 10 physically-connected couples – 7 mixed pairs and only 3 pairs – as they spent 45 minutes inside an MRI machine (magnetic resonance imaging, or Scanner). The results show that people not only engage with interactions, they adjust their actions in real time based on what they expect – or hope for.
To study social interaction, the participants were put face to face, and they nearly hugged. Under the leadership of the researchers, they had to touch their lips with a finger – an intimate touch capable of conveying passion and confidence – each in turn, or wait for the other to touch him.
Meanwhile, the scientists noticed which regions of their brains were activated. They could see that during this exchange, the two brains synchronized. There was a kind of mental simulation associated with the other person’s movements, which researchers believe is one of the primary mechanisms of social interaction.
An MRI is usually used to “check” one person at a time. Thus, the new method from researchers at Aalto University doubles brain data – it allows simultaneous scanning of two brains of individuals located near the device.
During any social interaction, sensory, cognitive, and emotional information nourishes the observer’s brain and stimulates movement in response to what he perceives. This process facilitates exchanges between two people and makes it possible to anticipate the actions of the other: a “nervous company”, for example, occurs when two people perform the same task … or when they kiss!
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