Can HRP (heart rhythm pattern) predict social relationship between two persons?

Sangin Park, Myoung Ju Won, and Mincheol Whang


Recently, bio-behavior synchrony has been studied to enhance social behavior. Cardio-vascular response that is internal response from bio-behavior synchrony has been related to social emotion in this study. The purpose of this study was to determine the HRP (heart rhythm pattern) predicting social relationship between two the persons. Eight subjects (4 females) participated in the experiment, ranging in age between 23 to 26 years old (mean 23.37±1.72), each voluntarily participated and were paid $69.86. The participants were categorized into two groups; (1) the one group was intimacy, and (2) the other group was non-intimacy in an aspect social relationship. They were interaction with one another the facial expression of Ekman 6 basic emotions including happy, sad, fear, disgust, surprise, and anger. The participants were assigned to respective leader and follower randomly. The leader was to communicate facial expression representing through on screen to the follower. The follower was mimicked facial expression of the leader. During the task, ECG (electrocardiogram) signal was measured and analyzed to get HRP (Heart Rhythm Pattern). Correlation analysis between two persons was tried to determine the synchronization level of HRP. In experiment result, the correlation of HRP was higher in non-intimacy group rather than intimacy group. The results showed the higher synchronization the heart rhythm was, the closer social distance was. It is well known that synchronization is coordination of rhythmic oscillator interaction between the persons. Synchronizing heart rhythm indicates implicit emotional response caused by social relationship. Heart rhythm is indicator to evaluate intimacy level quantitatively.

Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Global Frontier R&D Program on <Human-centered Interaction for Coexistence> funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea grant funded by the Korean Government (MSIP) (2014-0029756)