Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Monkey See, Monkey Synch

This is a very interesting set of observations. At the time I wrote Beethoven's Anvil it seemed as though tight inter-individual synchronization was relatively rare. It'll be interesting to see how this line of investigation unfolds.

Yasuo Nagasaka, Zenas C. Chao, Naomi Hasegawa, Tomonori Notoya & Naotaka Fujii

Scientific Reports 3, Article number: 1151 doi:10.1038/srep01151
Received 13 September 2012 Accepted 07 January 2013 Published 28 January 2013

Abstracts: Humans show spontaneous synchronization of movements during social interactions; this coordination has been shown to facilitate smooth communication. Although human studies exploring spontaneous synchronization are increasing in number, little is known about this phenomenon in other species. In this study, we examined spontaneous behavioural synchronization between monkeys in a laboratory setting. Synchronization was quantified by changes in button-pressing behaviour while pairs of monkeys were facing one another. Synchronization between the monkeys was duly observed and it was participant-partner dependent. Further tests confirmed that the speed of button pressing changed to harmonic or sub-harmonic levels in relation to the partner's speed. In addition, the visual information from the partner induced a higher degree of synchronization than auditory information. This study establishes advanced tasks for testing social coordination in monkeys, and illustrates ways in which monkeys coordinate their actions to establish synchronization.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. "example, when one helps a friend move a piece of furniture... successful coordination can result in smooth cooperative action or interaction within the social bond". Reminds me how work-songs must have delivered advantage to co-operative groups. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixhKy_QByfs