An Internet-based real-time audiovisual link for dual MEG recordings

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Abstract

Hyperscanning

Most neuroimaging studies of human social cognition have focused on brain activity of single subjects. More recently, “two-person neuroimaging” has been introduced, with simultaneous recordings of brain signals from two subjects involved in social interaction. These simultaneous “hyperscanning” recordings have already been carried out with a spectrum of neuroimaging modalities, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS).

Dual MEG Setup

We have recently developed a setup for simultaneous magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings of two subjects that communicate in real time over an audio link between two geographically separated MEG laboratories. Here we present an extended version of the setup, where we have added a video connection and replaced the telephone-landline-based link with an Internet connection. Our setup enabled transmission of video and audio streams between the sites with a one-way communication latency of about 130 ms. Our software that allows reproducing the setup is publicly available.

Validation

We demonstrate that the audiovisual Internet-based link can mediate real-time interaction between two subjects who try to mirror each others’ hand movements that they can see via the video link. All the nine pairs were able to synchronize their behavior. In addition to the video, we captured the subjects’ movements with accelerometers attached to their index fingers; we determined from these signals that the average synchronization accuracy was 215 ms. In one subject pair we demonstrate inter-subject coherence patterns of the MEG signals that peak over the sensorimotor areas contralateral to the hand used in the task.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0128485
Pages (from-to)1-15
JournalPloS one
Volume10
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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