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The Mere Co-Presence: Synchronization of Autonomic Signals and Emotional Responses across Co-Present Individuals Not Engaged in Direct Interaction.

Golland Y, Arzouan Y, Levit-Binnun N - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: However, it is yet unknown whether people can shape each other's responses without the direct, face-to-face interaction.To this end, we measured continuous autonomic signals and collected emotional responses of participants who watched emotional movies together, seated side-by-side.We found that the autonomic signals of co-present participants were idiosyncratically synchronized and that the degree of this synchronization was correlated with the convergence of their emotional responses.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Sagol Center for Brain and Mind, Baruch Ivcher School of Psychology, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya, Israel.

ABSTRACT
Existing evidence suggests that in social contexts individuals become coupled in their emotions and behaviors. Furthermore, recent biological studies demonstrate that the physiological signals of interacting individuals become coupled as well, exhibiting temporally synchronized response patterns. However, it is yet unknown whether people can shape each other's responses without the direct, face-to-face interaction. Here we investigated whether the convergence of physiological and emotional states can occur among "merely co-present" individuals, without direct interactional exchanges. To this end, we measured continuous autonomic signals and collected emotional responses of participants who watched emotional movies together, seated side-by-side. We found that the autonomic signals of co-present participants were idiosyncratically synchronized and that the degree of this synchronization was correlated with the convergence of their emotional responses. These findings suggest that moment-to-moment emotional transmissions, resulting in shared emotional experiences, can occur in the absence of direct communication and are mediated by autonomic synchronization.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The effect of co-presence on autonomic ISC.A. Control (H0) distributions (not co-present) and the experimental means (co-present, dashed lines), for both autonomic measures (ISCEDA, ISCHR) and for both emotional movies. H0 distributions represent movie-driven ISC of ANS signals. As can be seen in the figure, the experimental group-wise ISCs fall in the right tail of the control distributions, indicating the positive effect of co-presence on synchronization of participants’ autonomic activity. B. Time shifts in ANS synchronization: we assessed whether the ANS signals of co-present individuals were more tightly linked in time. Figure presents the control (H0) distributions and the experimental means (dashed lines) of the time lags in which two ANS signals exhibited maximal ISC. As can be seen in the figure, the time shifts in ANS synchronization of the co-present participants were significantly smaller in three out of four ANS measures. Lag_EDA in the positive movie showed a trend towards significance.
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pone.0125804.g003: The effect of co-presence on autonomic ISC.A. Control (H0) distributions (not co-present) and the experimental means (co-present, dashed lines), for both autonomic measures (ISCEDA, ISCHR) and for both emotional movies. H0 distributions represent movie-driven ISC of ANS signals. As can be seen in the figure, the experimental group-wise ISCs fall in the right tail of the control distributions, indicating the positive effect of co-presence on synchronization of participants’ autonomic activity. B. Time shifts in ANS synchronization: we assessed whether the ANS signals of co-present individuals were more tightly linked in time. Figure presents the control (H0) distributions and the experimental means (dashed lines) of the time lags in which two ANS signals exhibited maximal ISC. As can be seen in the figure, the time shifts in ANS synchronization of the co-present participants were significantly smaller in three out of four ANS measures. Lag_EDA in the positive movie showed a trend towards significance.

Mentions: In accordance with our hypothesize, the experimental ISCs were larger than the control ISCs, indicating that the response time-courses of co-present participants were idiosyncratically aligned with each other, above and beyond the effects induced by the movie. The statistical likelihood of the co-presence effect (experimental ISCs) was directly estimated from the sampling distribution of control ISCs, applying a non-parametric procedure, for both autonomic measures and for both emotional movies (Fig 3A, see Methods for details). The descriptive statistics for the control sampling distribution and the experimental sample are displayed in Table 1.


The Mere Co-Presence: Synchronization of Autonomic Signals and Emotional Responses across Co-Present Individuals Not Engaged in Direct Interaction.

Golland Y, Arzouan Y, Levit-Binnun N - PLoS ONE (2015)

The effect of co-presence on autonomic ISC.A. Control (H0) distributions (not co-present) and the experimental means (co-present, dashed lines), for both autonomic measures (ISCEDA, ISCHR) and for both emotional movies. H0 distributions represent movie-driven ISC of ANS signals. As can be seen in the figure, the experimental group-wise ISCs fall in the right tail of the control distributions, indicating the positive effect of co-presence on synchronization of participants’ autonomic activity. B. Time shifts in ANS synchronization: we assessed whether the ANS signals of co-present individuals were more tightly linked in time. Figure presents the control (H0) distributions and the experimental means (dashed lines) of the time lags in which two ANS signals exhibited maximal ISC. As can be seen in the figure, the time shifts in ANS synchronization of the co-present participants were significantly smaller in three out of four ANS measures. Lag_EDA in the positive movie showed a trend towards significance.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4446307&req=5

pone.0125804.g003: The effect of co-presence on autonomic ISC.A. Control (H0) distributions (not co-present) and the experimental means (co-present, dashed lines), for both autonomic measures (ISCEDA, ISCHR) and for both emotional movies. H0 distributions represent movie-driven ISC of ANS signals. As can be seen in the figure, the experimental group-wise ISCs fall in the right tail of the control distributions, indicating the positive effect of co-presence on synchronization of participants’ autonomic activity. B. Time shifts in ANS synchronization: we assessed whether the ANS signals of co-present individuals were more tightly linked in time. Figure presents the control (H0) distributions and the experimental means (dashed lines) of the time lags in which two ANS signals exhibited maximal ISC. As can be seen in the figure, the time shifts in ANS synchronization of the co-present participants were significantly smaller in three out of four ANS measures. Lag_EDA in the positive movie showed a trend towards significance.
Mentions: In accordance with our hypothesize, the experimental ISCs were larger than the control ISCs, indicating that the response time-courses of co-present participants were idiosyncratically aligned with each other, above and beyond the effects induced by the movie. The statistical likelihood of the co-presence effect (experimental ISCs) was directly estimated from the sampling distribution of control ISCs, applying a non-parametric procedure, for both autonomic measures and for both emotional movies (Fig 3A, see Methods for details). The descriptive statistics for the control sampling distribution and the experimental sample are displayed in Table 1.

Bottom Line: However, it is yet unknown whether people can shape each other's responses without the direct, face-to-face interaction.To this end, we measured continuous autonomic signals and collected emotional responses of participants who watched emotional movies together, seated side-by-side.We found that the autonomic signals of co-present participants were idiosyncratically synchronized and that the degree of this synchronization was correlated with the convergence of their emotional responses.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Sagol Center for Brain and Mind, Baruch Ivcher School of Psychology, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya, Israel.

ABSTRACT
Existing evidence suggests that in social contexts individuals become coupled in their emotions and behaviors. Furthermore, recent biological studies demonstrate that the physiological signals of interacting individuals become coupled as well, exhibiting temporally synchronized response patterns. However, it is yet unknown whether people can shape each other's responses without the direct, face-to-face interaction. Here we investigated whether the convergence of physiological and emotional states can occur among "merely co-present" individuals, without direct interactional exchanges. To this end, we measured continuous autonomic signals and collected emotional responses of participants who watched emotional movies together, seated side-by-side. We found that the autonomic signals of co-present participants were idiosyncratically synchronized and that the degree of this synchronization was correlated with the convergence of their emotional responses. These findings suggest that moment-to-moment emotional transmissions, resulting in shared emotional experiences, can occur in the absence of direct communication and are mediated by autonomic synchronization.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus