University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

By the same authors


  • Dari Trendafilov
  • Gerd Schmitz
  • Tong-Hun Hwang
  • Alfred O. Effenberg
  • Daniel Polani
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Original languageEnglish
Article number185
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2020


Every joint collaborative physical activity performed by a group of people, e.g., carrying a table, typically leads to the emergence of spatiotemporal coordination of individual motor behavior. Such interpersonal coordination can arise solely based on the observation of the partners’ and/or the object’s movements, without the presence of verbal communication. In this paper, we investigate how the social coupling between two individuals in a collaborative task translates into measured objective and subjective performance indicators recorded in two different studies. We analyse the trends in the dyadic interrelationship based on the information-theoretic measure of transfer entropy and identify emerging leader-follower roles. In our experimental paradigm, the actions of the pair of subjects are continuously and seamlessly fused, resulting in a joint control of an object simulated on a tablet computer. Subjects need to synchronize their movements with a 90-degree phase difference in order to keep the object (a ball) rotating precisely on a predefined circular or elliptic trajectory on a tablet device. Results demonstrate how the identification of causal dependencies in this social interaction task could reveal specific trends in human behavior and provide insights into the emergence of social sensorimotor contingencies.


© 2020 Trendafilov, Schmitz, Hwang, Effenberg and Polani. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


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