Author of the Month

The Bond: Connecting through the Space Between Us (cont.)
By Lynne McTaggart

The German and Austrian scientists decided to study the brain activity of pairs of guitarists playing a short melody together to see to what extent cortical activity is synchronized between people when they are, as they put it, “swinging in concert.” The scientists placed an EEG cap on each of the musicians as they played together as a group and recorded each individual’s brain activity.

Using special algorithms to analyze the brain activity of each person individually and in relation to his partner, the scientists found that the brain waves of each pair were highly synchronized and “in phase” – that is, the waves peaking and troughing at certain key moments, when they were practicing setting the tempo with a metronome and then when they began their coordinated play.

This study has vast implications, considering that so much of our interaction with the world consists in synchronized and goal-directed actions with other people. The researchers concluded that, whenever people do things together in a synchronized fashion, their brain waves must follow suit.

Like a jazz group working together as a superorganism to produce a common sound, we get on each other’s wavelength whenever we’re working together to produce a common result. Ultimately, this is likely to be the basis of all successful group relationships. We are able to get on with each other — no matter how different — simply by sharing an activity or goal.

Scientists now understand that neurons become more efficient and operate as a unit when they are repeatedly and persistently stimulated together: neurons that fire together wire together. What may be also true is that people who fire together wire together.

Lynne McTaggart

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