Prof. Peter Keller.jpg

Skilled joint actions such as musical ensemble performance showcase the human ability to coordinate movements with rhythms produced by other individuals by anticipating and adapting to each other’s action timing. While temporal anticipation and adaptation are grounded in fundamental sensory-motor mechanisms, the capacity for precise interpersonal coordination is nevertheless characterized by individual differences. I will present work investigating these individual differences in joint drumming tasks requiring paired participants to synchronize with one another under conditions of varying difficulty (constant vs. variable tempo) and leadership (leader assigned vs. not assigned). Results indicate that these manipulations affect the precision of interpersonal synchrony by creating asymmetries in adaptation and anticipation between pair members, and, furthermore, that these effects are modulated by aspects of personality, including empathy. Overall findings are informative about links between basic sensory-motor mechanisms and higher-level social-cognitive processes that regulate the balance between psychological representations of ‘self’ and ‘other’ during real-time interpersonal coordination.