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Clap Your Hands! Inter-Brain Synchronization During Monastic Debate

Steendam, Tabitha (2018) Clap Your Hands! Inter-Brain Synchronization During Monastic Debate. Research Project 1 (minor thesis), Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences.

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Abstract

Monastic debate is an interactive learning strategy that is assumed to sharpen reasoning and improve learning (Liberman, 2015; Perdue, 2008). During the debate, handclaps are made that punctuate propositions, signal the defender to respond immediately and to set the rhythm of the debate. Since these handclaps seem to play such an important role, we examined the function of a handclap on a cognitive level using EEG hyperscanning. It was expected that after a handclap, theta power would be increased and alpha power decreased due to increased attention. However, after correction for multiple comparisons, no significant differences in power were found between the time interval prior to the clap and the time interval after the clap for alpha and theta frequencies. Likewise, after correction for multiple comparisons, no support was found for the hypothesis that a clap would manifest in an ERP-like signal and that in the 0.5-second time interval after a handclap inter-brain synchronization would be increased in the alpha and theta band compared to the 0.5-second time interval prior to the clap. The uncorrected results show that inter-brain synchronization is increased after a clap for theta frequencies in the right temporal area and in the left central and parietal area. Although one should be cautious when interpreting these uncorrected results, they could suggest that a handclap indeed might play a communicational role. Future research is needed to assess whether a clap indeed plays a communicational role and a more controlled experimental design could reveal the exact cognitive processes underlying this increased inter-brain synchronization.

Item Type: Thesis (Research Project 1 (minor thesis))
Supervisor:
Supervisor nameSupervisor E mail
Vugt, M.K. vanM.K.van.Vugt@rug.nl
Degree programme: Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences
Thesis type: Research Project 1 (minor thesis)
Language: English
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2018
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2018 12:25
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/18089

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