Saturday, October 21, 2006

Brains Wired to Connect (from Newsweek)

(I read this one page article in my current Newsweek and it directed me to the online version. Well worth the read!)

Oct. 23, 2006 issue - Carl Marci was jubilant. After a year in therapy, trying to decide whether to propose to his girlfriend, he had finally taken the plunge—and she had said yes! As Marci recounted the story to his shrink days later, his therapist appeared to share the triumph with him. And it wasn't just an act. Marci, a psychiatrist himself at Massachusetts General Hospital, had wired himself and his therapist to special equipment that records heart-rate variability and "skin conductivity"—two measures that, taken together, indicate the ebb and flow of emotional arousal. When he examined the data later, Marci was stunned. Lines on the two charts rose and fell in perfect unison, revealing that his therapist was truly sharing his excitement. "It's no accident that we speak of being on the same wavelength with someone," says Marci. "In a moment like that, you really are."
continue article here.


pepektheassassin said...

Ha! Very interesting. I wonder if this experiment could be repeated with other people, under different circumstances?

Pris said...

Yes, having gone to a grad school in psychology that was strong on experimental, replication is everything. If a pool of these same results occured this would be super interesting. Some years ago I saw a film of people talking. Some had rated each other as unlikeable....others likeable. We watched the films of sets of two people talking and noticed nothing terribly interesting. He then repeated the film at very fast speed. The people moved foward together, backward together, changed arm positions together, etc. It was totally in synch and clearly not one starting first, 'inspiring' the other to move. I thought of that set of studies when I read this.