MS Defense by Terri Dunbar

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  • Date/Time:
    • Thursday February 14, 2019 - Friday February 15, 2019
      10:00 am - 11:59 am
  • Location: JS Coon 161
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Summary Sentence: Using Communication to Modulate Neural Synchronization in Teams

Full Summary: No summary paragraph submitted.

Name: Terri Dunbar

School of Psychology Master's Thesis Defense Presentation

Date: Thursday, February 14, 2019

Time: 10:00am

Location: JS Coon 161



Professor Jamie Gorman, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)


Thesis Committee Members:

Professor Jamie Gorman, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Professor Audrey Duarte, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Professor Rick Thomas, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Ron Stevens, Ph.D. (The Learning Chameleon, Inc.)


Title: Using Communication to Modulate Neural Synchronization in Teams


Trainers often assess team processes in conjunction with team performance outcomes to identify which behaviors contributed to the success or failure of the team during training. A current topic in team research is developing covert measures, which are easier to analyze in real-time, to identify team processes as they occur during training; however, little is known about how exactly overt and covert measures of team process relate to one another. In my thesis, I investigated the relationship between overt and covert measures of team process by manipulating the interaction partner (participant or experimenter) team members worked with and the type of task (decision-making or action-based) teams performed to assess their effects on team neural synchronization (measured as neurodynamic entropy) and communication (measured as both flow and content). The results indicated that the type of task affected how the teams dynamically structured their communication but had no effect on the neural synchronization of the team when averaged across the task session. The interaction partner also had no effect on team neural synchronization when averaged. However, there were significant relationships over time between neural synchronization and the communication flow and content due to both the type of task and the interaction partner. Specifically, in the decision-making task, when participants were coupled, changes in communication content (e.g., topic changes) were tied to changes in neural synchronization over time in multiple brain regions. However, in the action-based task, when participants were coupled, only changes in communication flow (e.g., long periods of silence) were tied to changes in neural synchronization in the temporal electrodes. The findings from the time series analysis extend my previous work on task constraints and communication dynamics by illustrating that the team’s task constraints also structure the relationship between team communication and neural synchronization across time, suggesting that these task constraints need to be taken into account when developing covert measures of team process.


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ms defense
  • Created By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Jan 24, 2019 - 10:56am
  • Last Updated: Jan 24, 2019 - 10:56am