Brain synchrony in competition and collaboration during multiuser neurofeedback-based gaming

Susnoschi-Luca, I. , Putri, F. , Ding, H. and Vuckovic, A. (2021) Brain synchrony in competition and collaboration during multiuser neurofeedback-based gaming. Frontiers in Neuroergonomics, 2, 749009. (doi: 10.3389/fnrgo.2021.749009)

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EEG hyperscanning during multiuser gaming offers opportunities to study brain characteristics of social interaction under various paradigms. In this study, we aimed to characterise neural signatures and phase-based functional connectivity patterns of gaming strategies during collaborative and competitive alpha neurofeedback games. Twenty pairs of participants with no close relationship took part in three sessions of collaborative or competitive multiuser neurofeedback (NF), with identical graphical user interface, using Relative Alpha (RA) power as a control signal. Collaborating dyads had to keep their RA within 5% of each other for the team to be awarded a point, while members of competitive dyads scored points if their RA was 10% above their opponent’s. Interbrain synchrony existed only during gaming but not during baseline in either collaborative or competitive gaming. Spectral analysis and interbrain connectivity showed that in collaborative gaming, players with higher resting state alpha content were more active in regulating their RA to match those of their partner. Moreover, interconnectivity was the strongest between homologous brain structures of the dyad in theta and alpha band, indicating a similar degree of planning and social exchange. Competitive gaming emphasised the difference between participants who were able to relax and, in this way, maintain RA, and those who were unsuccessful due to the cognitive and affective involvement. Asymmetrical hyperconnectivity in competition shows that the loser applied mental strategy suitable for conventional that were not suitable for alpha neurofeedback-based game. We show that in gaming based on multiplayer non-verbalized NF, the winning strategy is dependent on the rules of the game and on the behavior of the opponent. Mental strategies that characterise successful gaming in physical world might not be adequate for NF based gaming.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work has been supported by Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education Ph.D. scholarship and RCUK EPSRC Ph.D. scholarship EP/R513222/1ENG.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Susnoschi-Luca, Ioana and Putri, Finda and Vuckovic, Dr Aleksandra
Authors: Susnoschi-Luca, I., Putri, F., Ding, H., and Vuckovic, A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:Frontiers in Neuroergonomics
Publisher:Frontiers Media
ISSN (Online):2673-6195
Published Online:01 November 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 Susnoschi Luca, Putri, Ding and Vuckovic
First Published:First published in Frontiers in Neuroergonomics 2: 749009
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
305200DTP 2018-19 University of GlasgowMary Beth KneafseyEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/R513222/1MVLS - Graduate School