The Presence of Another Person Influences Oscillatory Cortical Dynamics During Dual Brain EEG Recording

Humans are innately social creatures and the social environment strongly influences brain development. As such, the human brain is primed for and sensitive to social information even in the absence of explicit task or instruction. In this study, we examined the influence of different levels of interpersonal proximity on resting state brain activity and its association with social cognition. We measured EEG in pairs of 13 typically developing (TD) adults seated in separate rooms, in the same room back-to-back, and in the same room facing each other. Interpersonal proximity modulated broadband EEG power from 4-55 Hz and individual differences in self-reported social cognition modulated these effects in the beta and gamma frequency bands. These findings provide novel insight into the influence of social environment on brain activity and its association with social cognition through dual-brain EEG recording and demonstrate the importance of using interactive methods to study the human brain.

Keywords: EEG; autism spectrum disorder; dual brain; interactive social neuroscience; resting state; social cognition.