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Title: A new measure for team performance: Measuring inter-brain synchrony of engineering students when designing and building
This research paper examines the patterns of inter-brain synchrony among engineering student teams and the relationship between inter-brain synchrony and team cooperation and performance. A pilot study was conducted with eight two-person teams of fourth-year undergraduate civil engineering students. Three collaborative design and build tasks were assigned to each team. Two independent raters carried out the behavioral analysis, scoring team cooperation. Each team member wore a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) device to measure inter-brain synchrony during the tasks. The results showed that inter-brain synchrony occurred during the team task, but the patterns varied between groups and tasks. Elevated levels of inter-brain synchrony were observed in the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). The left VLPFC and left DLPFC are often associated with cognitive processes such as problem-solving, working memory, decision-making, and coordinated verbal exchange. Inter-brain synchrony was positively correlated with task performance and cooperation when teams were asked to design and build a structure given limited time and money but negatively correlated with cooperation and performance on other more open-ended design sketching tasks. The study’s findings suggest that inter-brain synchrony exists when engineering students work together as a team, but the results are inconsistent between task types. Inter-brain synchrony could be a useful metric for measuring team cooperation and performance, particularly in tasks that require coordinated verbal exchange, problemsolving, and decision-making. However, the study’s small sample size limits the generalizability of the results. Future studies with a larger sample size and more diverse groups of engineers are needed to validate the findings and explore their implications further.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2128039
NSF-PAR ID:
10472277
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Engineering Project Organization Conference
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Engineering project organization journal
ISSN:
2157-3735
Format(s):
Medium: X
Location:
Berlin, Germany
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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