Brain interaction during cooperation: Evaluating local properties of multiple-brain network

Nicolina Sciaraffa, Gianluca Borghini, Pietro Aricò, Gianluca Di Flumeri, Alfredo Colosimo, Anastasios Bezerianos, Nitish V. Thakor, Fabio Babiloni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Subjects’ interaction is the core of most human activities. This is the reason why a lack of coordination is often the cause of missing goals, more than individual failure. While there are different subjective and objective measures to assess the level of mental effort required by subjects while facing a situation that is getting harder, that is, mental workload, to define an objective measure based on how and if team members are interacting is not so straightforward. In this study, behavioral, subjective and synchronized electroencephalographic data were collected from couples involved in a cooperative task to describe the relationship between task difficulty and team coordination, in the sense of interaction aimed at cooperatively performing the assignment. Multiple-brain connectivity analysis provided information about the whole interacting system. The results showed that averaged local properties of a brain network were affected by task difficulty. In particular, strength changed significantly with task difficulty and clustering coefficients strongly correlated with the workload itself. In particular, a higher workload corresponded to lower clustering values over the central and parietal brain areas. Such results has been interpreted as less efficient organization of the network when the subjects’ activities, due to high workload tendencies, were less coordinated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number90
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 21 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cooperation
  • EEG
  • Human interaction
  • Hyperscanning
  • Mental workload
  • Multiple-brain connectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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