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Complex networks emerging during choir singing

Research Square

Research Square

  • First Author :
    Viktor Müller
  • Co-authors :
    Julia A.M. Delius, Ulman Lindenberger
  • Journal Name :
    Annals (WILEY)
  • Read Full text :
  • DOI :

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Choir singing is positively associated with well‐being and quality of life, and requires the coordination of physiological systems within and across individuals. Informed by models of interpersonal action coordination, we delineate the network topography of choir singing by analyzing cross‐frequency couplings and within‐frequency couplings (WFCs) of respiratory, cardiac, vocalizing, and motor subsystems. We find that respiratory and cardiac subsystems synchronize with one another during singing and are coupled to oscillatory vocalizing patterns, and to the hand‐movement oscillations of the choir's conductor. The choir's cross‐frequency connections are particularly strong when singing a canon in parts, apparently supporting the interaction and coordination of the different canon entries. In contrast, WFCs are more pronounced when singing the same canon in unison. We conclude that the temporal coordination dynamics of the observed subsystems form part of the functional substrate for choir singing. During singing, the choir functions as a superordinate system, or superorganism, that imposes boundary conditions on the dynamic features of the individual singers.

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