Currently, there is little understanding of how interoceptive attentiveness (IA) affects brain responses during synchronized cognitive or motor tasks. This pilot study explored the effect of explicit IA manipulation on hemodynamic correlates of simple cognitive tasks implying linguistic or motor synchronization. Eighteen healthy participants completed two linguistic and motor synchronization tasks during explicit IA and control conditions while oxygenated (O2Hb) and deoxygenated (HHb) hemoglobin variations were recorded by functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS). The findings suggested that the brain regions associated with sustained attention, such as the right prefrontal cortex (PFC), were more involved when an explicit focus on the breath was induced during the cognitive linguistic task requiring synchronization with a partner, as indicated by increased O2Hb. Interestingly, this effect was not significant for the motor task. In conclusion, for the first time, this pilot research found increased activity in neuroanatomical regions that promote sustained attention, attention reorientation, and synchronization when a joint task is carried out and the person is focusing on their physiological body reactions. Moreover, the results suggested that the benefits of conscious concentration on physiological interoceptive correlates while executing a task demanding synchronization, particularly verbal alignment, may be related to the right PFC.
- Cognitive tasks
- Interoceptive attentiveness