University of Cambridge > > Rainbow Interaction Seminars > Synchrony and Entrainment in Human Interaction

Synchrony and Entrainment in Human Interaction

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An analysis of how our bodies engage and cue ways of understanding and providing feedback in communication shows patterns of rhythmic synchrony and collective action that seem to have a musical quality. The pull of one body with another (in synchrony and entrained) or withdrawal of one body from another (out of sync) gives us a sense of how we are making sense of each other and the nature of our commitment to be together. The most powerful form of synchrony is simultaneous motion. Condon said that this was so vital to human sociality that every culture has devised the short cut to it, in the form of greetings. Shaking someone’s hand, touching noses, kissing, bowing, is awkward if it is not simultaneously synchronised. Some of the patterns of rhythmic synchrony one finds in body movement is akin to the accents and moments of crescendo found in music performance, and these seem to help us to maintain attention and reach a heightened state of emotion and resonance. This work seeks to attain a better understanding of how the body/gesture and sound move together in sense-making, and how various kinds of technological interfaces afford, inhibit, or alter, these movements.

This talk is part of the Rainbow Interaction Seminars series.

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