Painting in coordination is perceived as a positive interpersonal interaction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interpersonal synchrony has been found to induce a variety of prosocial behaviors in both children and adults. Many forms of interpersonal synchrony and their impact on social behavior have been studied. Much of the research has considered interpersonal synchrony in the context of musical interaction or as a component of music, focusing on the auditory, temporal and discrete aspects of synchrony. We have recently shown that the effects of interpersonal synchrony may generalize to other forms of interaction, in particular, interpersonal coordination during joint painting, a much more visual, spatial and continuous form of art compared to music. In the current study, we sought to analyze how coordinated vs. non-coordinated painting interaction is perceived from the perspective of professional visual art therapists, representing a population with enhanced communicative awareness, compared to children, as relatively naïve observers, and non-therapist adults. We presented to participants a short video excerpt portraying two individuals engaging in a joint painting activity, performed either in coordination or non-coordination. We found that participants from all groups judged the coordinated interaction more positively. However, the visual art therapists attributed to the coordinated interaction a much broader positive impact compared to non-therapist adults. These results extend previous findings on interpersonal synchrony to the art modality, and emphasize coordination as a powerful cue for positive interaction within the therapeutic context.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102020
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Children
  • Coordination
  • Empathy
  • Interpersonal synchrony
  • Joint painting
  • Social interaction
  • Visual art therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Painting in coordination is perceived as a positive interpersonal interaction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this