Inter-Brain Synchrony Pattern Investigation on Triadic Board Game Play-Based Social Interaction: An fNIRS Study

Jinwoo Park, Jaeyoung Shin, Jaehoon Lee, Jichai Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Recent advances in functional neuroimaging techniques, including methodologies such as fNIRS, have enabled the evaluation of inter-brain synchrony (IBS) induced by interpersonal interactions. However, the social interactions assumed in existing dyadic hyperscanning studies do not sufficiently emulate polyadic social interactions in the real world. Therefore, we devised an experimental paradigm that incorporates the Korean folk board game 'Yut-nori' to reproduce social interactions that emulate social activities in the real world. We recruited 72 participants aged 25.2 ± 3.9 years (mean ± standard deviation) and divided them into 24 triads to play Yut-nori, following the standard or modified rules. The participants either competed against an opponent (standard rule) or cooperated with an opponent (modified rule) to achieve a goal efficiently. Three different fNIRS devices were employed to record cortical hemodynamic activations in the prefrontal cortex both individually and simultaneously. Wavelet transform coherence (WTC) analyses were performed to assess prefrontal IBS within a frequency range of 0.05-0.2 Hz. Consequently, we observed that cooperative interactions increased prefrontal IBS across overall frequency bands of interest. In addition, we also found that different purposes for cooperation generated different spectral characteristics of IBS depending on the frequency bands. Moreover, IBS in the frontopolar cortex (FPC) reflected the influence of verbal interactions. The findings of our study suggest that future hyperscanning studies should consider polyadic social interactions to reveal the properties of IBS in real-world interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2923-2932
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Institute of Information and Communications Technology Planning and Evaluation (IITP) grant funded by the Korean Government [Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT)] under Grant 2017-0-00451, in part by the Development of Brain Computer Interface (BCI) based Brain and Cognitive Computing Technology for Recognizing User’s Intentions using Deep Learning, and in part by Brain Korea 21 (BK21) Four Project of the National Research Foundation of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2001-2011 IEEE.


  • Brain imaging
  • functional near-infrared spectroscopy
  • hyperscanning
  • inter-brain synchrony
  • triad

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • General Neuroscience
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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