You, me, and us: Maintaining self-other distinction enhances coordination, agency, and affect

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Coordinating our actions with others changes how we behave and feel. Here, we provide evidence that interacting with others rests on a balance between self-other integration and segregation. Using a group walking paradigm, participants were instructed to synchronize with a metronome while listening to the sounds of 8 virtual partners. By manipulating the similarity and synchronicity of the partners’ steps to the participant's own, our novel auditory task disentangles the effects of synchrony and self-other similarity and examines their contribution to both collective and individual awareness. We measured temporal coordination (step timing regularity and synchrony with the metronome), gait patterns, and subjective reports about sense of self and group cohesion. The main findings show that coordination is best when participants hear distinct but synchronous virtual others, leading to greater subjective feelings of agency, strength, dominance, and happiness.


Original languageEnglish
Article number108253
Number of pages15
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2023

External IDs

ORCID /0000-0001-6540-5891/work/150883501


ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Cognitive neuroscience, Neuroscience

Library keywords