Playing cooperatively fine-tunes your brain with other players

We already knew that the online interactionswhether it’s messaging or social media, remote work or online gaming, can create common thought patterns, but a new study now clarifies the connection that can be created at the neural level.

With the coronavirus pandemic, the use of telework, remote schooling, but also the increase in the number of online players have undoubtedly contributed to forging invisible links between employees or players.

A news University of Helsinki study further explored this ability to synchronize brains remotely. The harmonization of brain waves and the phenomenon of empathy are known in situations where individuals are located in the same place, but its equivalent in the case of distant interactions remained to be demonstrated.

Playing online connects brains

To test this synchronization of brain waves at a distance, subjects were placed in rooms protected from outside noise and invited to practice online games in cooperation (a racing car to be controlled together).

game cooperation synchronization brain

The researchers were able to observe a clear inter-brain synchronization during the activity but also a harmonization of alpha and gamma waves reflecting an improvement in performance in the game. Better yet, these effects are not transitory or punctual and remain effective throughout the experience by being fueled by the common objective to be achieved.

The ability to synchronize the functioning of brains even without physical presence is therefore quite possible and sustainable, opening up new perspectives in terms of online interactions but perhaps also for future applications involving virtual, augmented or mixed reality.

Developing empathy online

The researchers thus believe that it would be possible to use the social mechanisms used during live interactions and to adapt them to obtain similar effects and reinforced empathy to improve social relations, well-being and productivity in teleworking. .

Synchronization measures could for example be used to check the harmonization of brain waves and assess the quality of social interactions or productivity in order to improve their efficiency.

If the researchers see the resolutely positive side of such a demonstration, one can also wonder if one does not risk creating an additional bond of alienation by seeking to force the functioning and the reactions of the brain.

Are we then venturing towards a future as envisaged in science fiction films involving harmonized neuronal connections between individuals to operate a complex machine (Pacific Rim, Neon Genesis Evangelion…) or towards a new mass surveillance tool à la 1984 or Brazil where even thoughts will be dissected, analyzed and, possibly, corrected.

Source: GNT – actualités by

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