Inter-brain synchronization patterns of cooperation in the prefrontal cortex during the Stag Hunt game via fNIRS hyperscanning

Küskü, Mert
Cooperation in various tasks has been shown to increase synchronization between people's prefrontal cortices. In game theory, the Stag Hunt game is utilized as a model for social cooperation in the face of strategic uncertainty. In this thesis, we analyzed the synchronization of hemodynamic responses of 24 pairs of subjects under Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) hyperscanning, playing ten rounds of repeated Stag Hunt games with each other. The data analyzed here were gathered for another thesis work (Aydoğan, 2019), partially replicating Schmidt et al.'s (2003) study that involves four types of Stag Hunt games with varying payoff and risk dominance levels. Wavelet Transform Coherence (WTC) increases were calculated for the same optode combinations between subjects to investigate inter-brain synchrony (IBS). Independent samples t-tests are performed to compare the IBS of subjects settling on the payoff dominant equilibrium (cooperation group) to other subjects (non-cooperation group). The cooperation group yielded significantly higher IBS between their dorsolateral prefrontal cortices than the noncooperation group. This finding suggests that IBS synchrony might be an underlying neural mechanism for cooperation.


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Citation Formats
M. Küskü, “Inter-brain synchronization patterns of cooperation in the prefrontal cortex during the Stag Hunt game via fNIRS hyperscanning,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2022.