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Interpersonal Physiological Coordination in Persons with Dementia During a Dance-Based Movement Program

Interpersonal Physiological Coordination in Persons with Dementia During a Dance-Based Movement Program

Session 2

Presenter Name:Erica Flaten

School/Affiliation:McMaster University

Co-Authors:Dannie Fu, Stefanie Blain-Moraes


Persons with Dementia (PWD) often experience negative impacts on the quality of their significant relationships1. Movement programs that encourage connecting with others may therefore help improve relationships and care for PWD. Interpersonal physiological coordination arises when the physiological signals of two or more interacting individuals spontaneously coordinate over time. This study explored two different measures of physiological coordination: normalized symbolic transfer entropy (NSTE) and single session index (SSI). NSTE non-linearly measures information flow between two signals, such that the past of X is used to predict the future of Y, and vice versa2. SSI is based on the correlations of slope values between two signals at concurrent moments of time and is thus a measure of the similarity between the signals3. We predicted that during a dance-based movement program, moments of connection between PWD and caregivers would be associated with physiological coordination, as measured by NSTE and SSI. Participants (N = 5 PWD, N = 6 caregivers) completed a group program called Mouvement de Passage4 involving solo and duo activities. Participants wore a triple-point sensor securely around their finger to measure their skin conductance, heart rate, and skin temperature. Moments of interpersonal connection were coded from a videorecording. Preliminary results showed that coded moments of connection did not always line up with physiological coordination, however, NSTE and SSI results differed from each other, and across physiological modes. These findings demonstrate the importance of considering physiological mode and method of analysis, which reveal different nuances of interpersonal coordination in dyadic interactions.

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