Physiological synchrony in the classroom

Ivo V. Stuldreher, Nattapong Thammasan, Elisabeth Schreuders, Matteo Giletta, Mandy Tjew-A-Sin, Eco J.C. de Geus, Jan B.F. van Erp, Anne-Marie Brouwer

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Physiological synchrony (PS) refers to the degree to which physiological measures of multiple individuals uniformly change (Palumbo et al., 2017). In a controlled laboratory study, we found that physiological synchrony reflects selective attention: The electroencephalogram (EEG), heart rate and electrodermal activity (EDA) of participants showed similar changes when they paid attention to similar aspects of an auditory stimulus (Stuldreher et al., 2020).

PS may also be informative of attentional engagement in educational settings. Dikker et al. (2017) found that students’ EEG was more synchronized with each other when they were more, rather than less engaged during a semi-regular biology class. However, lessons were adapted specifically to the study and EEG sensors are still considered to be rather obtrusive.

In the current work, we use data of two earlier conducted studies to assess PS in EDA and heart rate among students during regular classes. As a first step in probing whether PS in peripheral measures might be used for monitoring attention in secondary school education, we compared PS between students in the same versus different classrooms, and aimed to distinguish students attending the same class from students attending different classes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2021
EventNeuroergonomics Conference 2021 - Online Conference
Duration: 11 Sep 202116 Sep 2021


ConferenceNeuroergonomics Conference 2021
CityOnline Conference


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