Eleventh International School on Mind, Brain and Education

2016 September 7–13

Dynamical Coupling:
From Brain-to-Brain to Social Interaction

Directors of the School: Antonio M. Battro and Kurt W. Fischer
Directors of the Course: Uri Hasson and Thalia Wheatley

Abstract: Uri Alon
Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Joint improvisation and creative foraging
I'll present two experimental paradigms: the mirror game offers a way to study togetherness in joint improvisation of motion. It shows how two improvisers can create complex motion without a designated leader or follower. Mathematical modeling suggests that this involves mutual learning of each other's predictors of future motion. I'll also discuss the relation between individuality of people's motion and the synchrony of moments of togetherness.
A second paradigm studies at high resolution how people make (tiny) creative leaps while searching a space of geometric shapes. The defined and metric nature of this space allows us to quantitate the individual strategies people use to find new and interesting shapes. Mathematical modeling based on the data suggests a way to define the meaning landscapes that people see in this space. Analysis indicates that people search by rounds of discovery of ambiguous shapes that trigger focusing of attention on one meaning theme, allowing scavenging of shapes of related meaning, and then sudden shifts that drop the focus on the current meaning theme to allow exploration of new possibilities.