Post-interaction neuroplasticity of inter-brain networks underlies the development of social relationship

Simone G. Shamay-Tsoory, Inbar Z. Marton-Alper, Andrey Markus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inter-brain coupling has been increasingly recognized for its role in supporting connectedness during social communication. Here we investigate whether inter-brain coupling is plastic and persists beyond the offset of social interaction, facilitating the emergence of social closeness. Dyads were concurrently scanned using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) while engaging in a task that involved movement synchronization. To assess post-interaction neuroplasticity, participants performed a baseline condition with no interaction before and after the interaction. The results reveal heightened inter-brain coupling in neural networks comprising the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in the post-task compared to the pre-task baseline. Critically, the right IFG emerged as a highly connected hub, with post-task inter-brain coupling in this region predicting the levels of motivation to connect socially. We suggest that post-interactions inter-brain coupling may reflect consolidation of socially related cues, underscoring the role of inter-brain plasticity in fundamental aspects of relationship development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108796
Issue number2
StatePublished - 16 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s)


  • Behavioral neuroscience
  • Cognitive neuroscience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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