The synchronization of brainwaves among students during class reflects how much they like the class and each other, a team of neuroscientists has found. “How well our brainwaves sync up with those of another person appears to be a good predictor of how well we get along and how engaged we are,” explains lead author Dr Suzanne Dikker, a research scientist at Utrecht University (Utrecht Institute of Linguistics) and New York University’s Department of Psychology. “Overall, our findings suggest that brain-to-brain synchrony is a possible neural marker for everyday social interactions.”
In a departure from standard experimentation, the scientists followed a group of 12 high school students and their teacher for an entire semester and recorded their brain activity during their regular biology classes using portable electroencephalogram (EEG) technology. “The study offers a promising new method to investigate the neuroscience of group interactions,” adds senior author David Poeppel, a professor in NYU’s Department of Psychology and Center for Neural Science and director of the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt.