Interpersonal anticipatory synchronization: the facilitating role of short visual-motor feedback delays

Auriel Washburn, Rachel Kallen, Charles A. Coey, Kevin D. Shockley, Michael J. Richardson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Effective interpersonal coordination is fundamental to robust social interaction, and the ability to anticipate a co-actor’s behavior is essential for achieving this coordination. However, coordination research has focused on the behavioral synchrony that occurs between the simple periodic movements of co-actors and, thus, little is known about the anticipation that occurs during complex, everyday interaction. Research on the dynamics of coupled neurons, human motor control, electrical circuits, and laser semiconductors universally demonstrates that small temporal feedback delays are necessary for the anticipation of chaotic events. We therefore investigated whether similar feedback delays would promote anticipatory behavior during social interaction. Results revealed that co-actors were not only able to anticipate others’ chaotic movements when experiencing small perceptual-motor delays, but also exhibited movement patterns of equivalent complexity. This suggests that such delays, including those within the human nervous system, may enhance, rather than hinder, the anticipatory processes that underlie successful social interaction.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCogSci 2015
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
Place of PublicationAustin, TX
PublisherCognitive Science Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780991196722
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventAnnual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (37th : 2015) - Pasadena, United States
Duration: 22 Jul 201525 Jul 2015


ConferenceAnnual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (37th : 2015)
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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