Human Syncing and Group Flow

DALL·E 2022-09-14 14.59.04 - human dance synchronization in neon

Human Syncing and Group Flow

I’ve been tracking Human Syncing for quite some time and believe understanding it will lead us to witnessing the biomarkers of group flow.

IRL Synchronization

There have been many studies on what happens to humans when they are together in spatial proximity IRL.

  • From theaters — where an entire row can align when viewing a shared experience.
  • To companies — where human micro-movements, respiration, and micro facial expressions can “dance” together when they have connection. Dr. Kazo Yano, Hitachi Fellow, spoke about his research on this at the TTC in 2020.
  • To couples — aligning heart rates as pairs in close proximity over time.
  • Specifically: “Biosignal synchronization of groups of people engaged in social interaction can be observed in heart rate variability, respiratory rate, and skin conductance (Palumbo et al., 2017), as well as in hemodynamic and oscillatory activity of the brain (Czeszumski et al., 2020). In hyperscanning studies, inter-brain synchrony typically refers to similarity in the temporal pattern of simultaneous measurements obtained from test subjects using neuroimaging methods, such as EEG, magnetoencephalography (MEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) (Czeszumski et al., 2020). “ (Source: Paper)

Digital Synchronization

However, due to my background in gaming and experience in online meditation, it made sense to me that this could also happen digitally at a distance.

But pre-metaverse popularity, it was hard to find people studying this in a scientifically valid way. I mostly tracked down stories mostly of small groups of bio-hackers exploring the edge.

Then this study appeared.

“The brains of people playing online video games synchronize, even when there is a physical distance between the players.” – Neuroscience News

“Based on the findings, inter-brain synchronization occurs during cooperative online gaming, and increased synchrony in the alpha and gamma frequency bands is connected with better performance. The connection between performance and gamma synchronization could be observed continuously over time.”

“If we can build interactive digital experiences which activate fundamental mechanisms of empathy, it can lead to better social relationships, well-being, and productivity online,” says Project Manager Katri Saarikivi.

What this means to me

I believe we can leverage digital to enhance our physical connection and collaborative capacity, and back again as I described in The Deep Human Stack. I believe that human syncing will become an intentional goal between groups of friends or families.

It’s still very early and a few studies are insufficient — but this is how human understanding is built over time.

I think it’s an extraordinary time to be alive.


(Photo Credit: Dall-E-2)

P.S.S.  Here’s the rest of the series:

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