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You are here: McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind > Publications > Following during physically-coupled joint action engages motion area MT +/V5

Lea A Chauvigne, Michel Belyk, and Steven Brown (2017)

Following during physically-coupled joint action engages motion area MT +/V5

Journal of Integrative Neuroscience, 16:307-318.

Interpersonal coordination during joint action depends on the perception o f the partner’ s m o v ements. In many such situations – for example, while moving furniture together or dancing a tango – there are kinesthetic interactions between the partners due to the forces shared between them that allo w them t o directly percei v e one another’ s movements. Joint action o f this type often involves a contrast between the roles of leader and follower , where the leader imparts forces onto the follower , and the follower has to be responsive to these force-cues during movement. We carried out a novel 2-person functional MRI study with trained couple dancers engaged in bimanual contact with an experimenter standing next to the bore o f the magnet, where the t w o alternated between being the leader and follower of joint improvised movements, all with the eyes closed. One brain area that w a s unexpectedly more active during following than leading was the region of MT +/V5. While classically described as an area for processing visual motion, it has more recently been shown to be responsive to tactile motion as well. We suggest that MT +/V5 responds to motion based on force-cues during joint haptic interaction, most especially when a follower responds to force-cues coming from a leader’s movements