Publication Type:Book Chapter
Source:Posture, Balance and the Brain, International Workshop Proceedings, p.36-44 (2015)
Keywords:dance expertise, interpersonal coordination, light touch, rhythmic sway
We examined the nature of interpersonal synchrony mediated by light touch when individuals rhythmically sway side by side at their own pace, same or different externally imposed tempos. Three types of couples participated in two experiments; dancer couples, non-dancer couples, and mixed couples. Spectral analysis of the sway signals revealed that fingertip touch evoked interpersonal synchronization during self-paced sway. During metronome paced sway only dancers further increased synchronization suggesting a more efficient integration of tactile and timing cues. In a subsequent experiment, we asked whether dancers are able to suppress the spontaneous tendency towards entrainment when the two partners sway at different tempos. Touch evoked interpersonal entrainment only in mixed couples whereas touch interference was weaker in novices and absent in experts. All together, these results suggest that light fingertip touch evokes spontaneous interpersonal entrainment that is stronger when provided by a dancer who has developed the ability to modulate the self-organized properties of inter-personal entrainment.