2 December 2019 5 mins read

Comparisons between Real and Virtual Environments using Hyperscanning

Inter-brain connectivity between pairs of people was explored during a finger tracking task in the real-world and in Virtual Reality (VR). This was facilitated by the use of a dual EEG set-up that allowed us to use hyperscanning to simultaneously record the neural activity of both participants. We found that similar levels of inter-brain synchrony can be elicited in the real-world and VR for the same task. This is the first time that hyperscanning has been used to compare brain activity for the same task performed in real and virtual environments.

Experiment Setup: Real World

Experiment Setup: Virtual Reality

This pilot study has been able to demonstrate that it appears possible to elicit comparable inter-brain synchrony among two individuals in real-world and VR using the same task. Interestingly, figure 4 shows that there may be more connections between two individuals in VR, but it remains to be seen how these connections are formed. We do not fully understand the reasons for a larger number of connections in the VR environment versus the real-world. None-the-less, these preliminary results demonstrate exciting findings that need further examination in order to be fully understood.

Experiment sequence: (a) Pre-Training finger pointing (b) Training – Finger tracking (c) Post-Training finger pointing

Inter-brain Synchrony measures: (a) Real-World (b) Virtual Reality (VR)

Read more about the paper here.

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