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Social context facilitates visuomotor synchrony and bonding in children and adults

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journal contribution
posted on 17.01.2022, 10:10 by Ellen M Howard, Danielle Ropar, Roger NewportRoger Newport, Bahar Tunçgenç
Interpersonal synchrony is a fundamental part of human social interaction, with known effects on facilitating social bonding. Moving in time with another person facilitates prosocial behaviour, however, it is unknown if the degree of synchronisation predicts the degree of social bonding. Similarly, while people readily fall in synchrony even without being instructed to do so, we do not know whether such spontaneous synchronisation elicits similar prosocial effects as instructed synchronisation. Across two studies, we investigated how context (social vs non-social stimulus) and instruction (instructed vs uninstructed) influenced synchronisation accuracy and bonding with the interaction partner in adults and children. The results revealed improved visuomotor synchrony within a social, compared to non-social, context in adults and children. Children, but not adults, synchronised more accurately when instructed to synchronise than when uninstructed. For both children and adults, synchronisation in a social context elicited stronger social bonding towards an interaction partner as compared to synchronisation in a non-social context. Finally, children’s, but not adults’, degree of synchrony with the partner was significantly associated with their feelings of social closeness. These findings illuminate the interaction of sensorimotor coupling and joint action in social contexts and how these mechanisms facilitate synchronisation ability and social bonding.

Funding

Midlands Graduate School Doctoral Training Partnership

Economic and Social Research Council

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History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Scientific Reports

Volume

11

Publisher

Springer Nature

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Springer Nature under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

08/11/2021

Publication date

2021-11-24

Copyright date

2021

eISSN

2045-2322

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Roger Newport. Deposit date: 14 January 2022

Article number

22869

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