Teams Reorganize Neurodynamically When They Sense Loss of Control
Perturbations to the normal flow of teamwork arise externally through changes in the environment or internally as a result of the team’s processes / decisions. We used quantitative neurophysiologic models of the rhythms and organizations of teams to examine the effects of these two classes of perturbations on team neurodynamics. Electroencephalographic (EEG) signals from dyads were transformed into cognitive workload estimates and then into neurodynamic symbols (NS) showing the second-by-second workload of each individual as well as the team. Periods of changing cognitive organizations were identified by a moving average smoothing of the Shannon entropy of the NS data stream and related to team speech, actions and responses to external and internal task changes. Dyads performing an unscripted map navigation (HCRC Map Task) developed fluctuating NS dynamics around the construct of workload which were disrupted by external task perturbations or when the team became confused or uncertain of their progress. Importantly, we detected no significant neurodynamic fluctuations associated with periods when the team made mistakes and did not realize they made the mistake. These results indicated that neurodynamics reorganizations occurred in teams in response to multiple types of perturbations, but primarily when the team perceived difficulties.
Keywordsteam neurodynamics entropy coordination dynamics rhythms
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