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Neural correlates of joint action in music performance of piano duos: a near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) study

Grant number: 19/05493-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2019
Effective date (End): August 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology
Principal Investigator:João Ricardo Sato
Grantee:Thenille Braun Janzen
Home Institution: Centro de Matemática, Computação e Cognição (CMCC). Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Santo André , SP, Brazil


The ability to temporally coordinate one's own movement with those of others is a fundamental aspect of social interaction. However, one of the main methodological challenges for the study of the neural correlates of cognitive processes underlying social interaction and joint action concerns the development of dynamic and naturalistic paradigms that assess in real-time all the individuals involved in the interaction. With that in mind, this research proposal combines a neuroimaging technique that is robust for movement artifacts and allows for the simultaneous recording of brain activity of multiple individuals (fNIRS) with an experimental paradigm known for its relevance in the study of social interaction and joint action - which is music performance. The aim of this study is to identify with fNIRS possible neural correlates underlying cooperation and temporal coordination in musical joint action. For that, brain activity will be recorded simultaneously for 20 pairs of pianists during the performance of musical excerpts in duo. Manipulations of temporal coordination and cooperativity will be implemented during joint action in order to identify possible differences in activity in regions associated with the mirror neuron system and mentalization according to changes in temporal adaptation and cooperation. Therefore, this project will address an important gap in the research concerning the neural basis of crucial cognitive processes in social interaction. Additionally, considering the possibility of an international internship, this project will also promote the collaboration between UFABC and relevant international research centers, thus contributing to the development of a fertile and impactful line of research.