Do birds of a feather move together? Group membership and behavioral synchrony

Lynden Miles, Joanne Lumsden, Michael J. Richardson, Neil Macrae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Citations (Scopus)


The temporal coordination of interpersonal behavior is a foundation for eVective joint action with synchronized movement moderating core components of person
perception and social exchange. Questions remain, however, regarding the precise conditions under which interpersonal synchrony emerges. In particular, with whom do people reliably synchronize their movements? The current investigation explored the eVects of arbitrary group membership (i.e., minimal groups) on the emergence of interpersonal coordination. Participants performed a repetitive rhythmic action together with a member of the same or a diVerent minimal group. Of interest was the extent to which participants spontaneously synchronized their movements with those of the target. Results revealed that stable coordination (i.e., in-phase synchrony) was most pronounced when participants interacted with a member of a diVerent minimal group. These Wndings are discussed with respect to the functional role of interpersonal synchrony and the potential avenues by which the dynamics of rhythmic
coordination may be inXuenced by group status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-503
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Interpersonal synchrony
  • Coordination dynamics
  • Group membership


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