The neurophysiological theory of higher brain functions predicts that multiple superimposed synchronized (coherent) oscillations in different frequency bands with different spatial patterns and functional correlates govern specific mental functions. Synchronized oscillatory activity of EEG signals can be measured and calculated by different correlation methods, but mostly EEG coherence analysis is used. Coherence between two EEG signals (x, y), on the other hand, equals the squared cross-correlation power spectrum in the frequency domain. It reflects the degree of amplitude- and phase-locking / coupling – the similarity and inter-dependence between two distant signals. Coherence values can span the interval between 0 and 1, where value 0 means total absence of synchronous coupling and value 1 means full matching of two signals.
In our project / experiment we observe, analyze, represent and promote EEG synchronization of brain waves of two cooperating subjects to test interpersonal harmonization, similarities, coherence. The level of synchronization will be represented in distinct AV feedback on the screen in the neurochamber.
Synergy is defined on multiple levels, some of those are inherent also to our project:
• the interaction of multiple elements in a system to produce an effect different from or greater than the sum of their individual effects. The term synergy comes from the Greek word synergia (συνέργια from synergos, συνεργός), meaning “working together”.
• dynamic state in which combined action is favored over the difference of individual component actions.
• behavior of whole systems unpredicted by the behavior of their parts taken separately, known as emergent behavior.
• the cooperative action of two or more stimuli, resulting in a different or greater response than that of the individual stimuli.
• energetically efficient way of information processing in complex coherent self-organized systems
“We cannot understand any system by seeking to comprehend each component. When elements interact with each other there is a flow of energy between them, perhaps in the form of nutrients, water, food, or information. Synergy is when the sum of the whole system is greater than the sum of its parts. We have the individual elements and we also have the relationship that adds further complexity and characteristics. Many parents will identify with having to manage not only the demands of each child but also the dynamic between them, which can create more work. The whole is not predictable from looking at the parts, because we do not know what the relationship and flow of energy is between them or how that will influence each part. From this synergy of interactions new properties will emerge. We cannot predict the wetness of water from looking at oxygen and hydrogen molecules separately. From neurons, consciousness and creativity emerge. The number of possible relationships increases exponentially with the number of parts.” (Macnamara, Looby).
Synergy is also energetically efficient and creative way of processing information, which generates “added transcendent value” in complex systems like human brain and in social interactions, but also at a wider scale, in society as a whole. Regarding causality in evolution Peter Corning observes: “Synergistic effects of various kinds have played a major causal role in the evolutionary process generally and in the evolution of cooperation and complexity in particular. In other words, emergence itself has been the underlying cause of the evolution of emergent phenomena in biological evolution; it is the synergies produced by organized systems that are the key”.