Journal Article Detection of Nonverbal Synchronization through Phase Difference in Human Communication

Jinhwan, Kwon  ,  Kwon, Jinhwan  ,  小川, 健一朗  ,  Ogawa, Ken-ichiro  ,  小野, 永輔  ,  Ono, Eisuke  ,  三宅, 美博  ,  Miyake, Yoshihiro

10 ( 7 ) 2015-07
Nonverbal communication is an important factor in human communication, and body movement synchronization in particular is an important part of nonverbal communication. Some researchers have analyzed body movement synchronization by focusing on changes in the amplitude of body movements. However, the definition of “body movement synchronization” is still unclear. From a theoretical viewpoint, phase difference is the most important factor in synchronization analysis. Therefore, there is a need to measure the synchronization of body movements using phase difference. The purpose of this study was to provide a quantitativedefinition of the phase difference distribution for detecting body movement synchronization in human communication. The phase difference distribution was characterized usingfour statistical measurements: density, mean phase difference, standard deviation (SD) and kurtosis. To confirm the effectiveness of our definition, we applied it to human communication in which the roles of speaker and listener were defined. Specifically, we examinedthe difference in the phase difference distribution between two different communication situations: face-to-face communication with visual interaction and remote communication with unidirectional visual perception. Participant pairs performed a task supposing lecture in the face-to-face communication condition and in the remote communication condition via television. Throughout the lecture task, we extracted a set of phase differences from the timeseriesdata of the acceleration norm of head nodding motions between two participants. Statistical analyses of the phase difference distribution revealed the characteristics of headnodding synchronization. Although the mean phase differences in synchronized head nods did not differ significantly between the conditions, there were significant differences in the densities, the SDs and the kurtoses of the phase difference distributions of synchronized head nods. These results show the difference in nonverbal synchronization between different communication types. Our study indicates that the phase difference distribution is useful in detecting nonverbal synchronization in various human communication situations.
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