1 Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Technical University of Denmark2 Cognitive Systems, Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Technical University of Denmark3 Aarhus University4 unknown
How do dyads coordinate their actions to achieve a common goal when one person has the more difficult task? In the present study, dyads were instructed to engage in a Fitts’s reciprocal aiming task as accurately as possible, and at a given tempo sent through their headphones. They were in conditions where they either received auditory feedback of 1) SELF-generated taps, 2) taps generated by the OTHER co-actor, or 3) regular, COMPUTER-generated taps. In conditions 2) and 3), they were also instructed to synchronize with their feedback as best as possible. In each trial, each participant was assigned to either the target’s role – with varying target width, and hence task difficulty – or the reference role – with the widest (easiest) target. Results show that when the task was performed interactively with the other person, they were most synchronized, and also used the target most similarly, while compromising rhythmic accuracy. In addition, as task difficulty increased for the member with the target’s role, the participant with the reference role became more adaptive to her tempo. This suggests that interacting members of a dyad optimally negotiate coordination strategies to achieve a joint goal, by taking on leader-follower roles.