Does the brain know who is at the origin of what in an imitative interaction?
- 1Centre de Recherche de l'Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière, Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6, Paris, France
- 2Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Paris, France
- 3Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, France
- 4Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l'Alimentation, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France
- 5Centre Emotion, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, France
Brain correlates of the sense of agency have recently received increased attention. However, the explorations remain largely restricted to the study of brains in isolation. The prototypical paradigm used so far consists of manipulating visual perception of own action while asking the subject to draw a distinction between self- versus externally caused action. However, the recent definition of agency as a multifactorial phenomenon combining bottom-up and top-down processes suggests the exploration of more complex situations. Notably there is a need of accounting for the dynamics of agency in a two-body context where we often experience the double faceted question of who is at the origin of what in an ongoing interaction. In a dyadic context of role switching indeed, each partner can feel body ownership, share a sense of agency and altogether alternate an ascription of the primacy of action to self and to other. To explore the brain correlates of these different aspects of agency, we recorded with dual EEG and video set-ups 22 subjects interacting via spontaneous versus induced imitation (II) of hand movements. The differences between the two conditions lie in the fact that the roles are either externally attributed (induced condition) or result from a negotiation between subjects (spontaneous condition). Results demonstrate dissociations between self- and other-ascription of action primacy in delta, alpha and beta frequency bands during the condition of II. By contrast a similar increase in the low gamma frequency band (38–47 Hz) was observed over the centro-parietal regions for the two roles in spontaneous imitation (SI). Taken together, the results highlight the different brain correlates of agency at play during live interactions.
Keywords: agency, hyperscanning, EEG, imitation, social interaction
Citation: Dumas G, Martinerie J, Soussignan R and Nadel J (2012) Does the brain know who is at the origin of what in an imitative interaction?. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 6:128. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00128
Received: 21 December 2011; Accepted: 19 April 2012;
Published online: 09 May 2012.
, Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London, UK
Copyright: © 2012 Dumas, Martinerie, Soussignan and Nadel. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.
*Correspondence: Guillaume Dumas, Cognitive Neuroscience and Brain Imaging Laboratory, Center for Research of the Institute of the Brain and of the Spinal Cord (CRICM) 47, boul. de l'Hôpital, 75651 Paris Cedex 13, France. e-mail: email@example.com