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Dyadic Movement Synchronization While Performing Incongruent Trajectories Requires Mutual Adaptation
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, no. June
Unintentional movement synchronization is often emerging between interacting humans. In the present study, we investigate the extent to which the incongruence of movement trajectories has an influence on unintentional dyadic movement synchronization. During a target-directed tapping task, a participant repetitively moved between two targets in front of another participant who performed the same task in parallel but independently. When the movement path of one participant was changed by placing an obstacle between the targets, the degree of their unintentional movement synchronization was measured. Movement synchronization was observed despite of their substantially different movement trajectories. A deeper investigation of the participant's unintentional behavior shows, that although the actor who cleared the obstacle puts unintentional effort in establishing synchrony by increasing movement velocity—the other actor also unintentionally adjusted his/her behavior by increasing dwell times. Results are discussed in the light of joint action, movement interference and obstacle avoidance behavior.