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MIB guest talk: Travis J. Wiltshire

MIB is happy to host Travis J. Wiltshire who is Assistant Professor of Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence at Tilburg University, Netherlands.

Info about event


Thursday 22 February 2024,  at 14:00 - 15:00


Thalamus, Building 1710, Aarhus University + Zoom

Improvisational coordination dynamics underpinning collaborative creativity: Empirical and methodological approaches to dyadic, triadic, and group coordination

In social interactions, coordination, or the temporal covariation of two or more signals, occurs between people in different modalities (e.g., behaviors, speech/language, and physiology). For example, two peoples’ heart rates may become coupled as they have a conversation. Increasingly, a growing body of work shows that certain patterns of coordination can function toward facilitating effective interaction processes and outcomes such as psychotherapy effectiveness, relationship satisfaction, and teamwork (Halgas et al., 2022; Palumbo et al., 2017; Wiltshire et al., 2020). In the case of collaboratively creating with others, such as in musical improvisation, coordination is not yet well understood. And it can occur with varying degrees of intentionality, in the aforementioned modalities, as well as in the creative modalities being improvised (e.g., piano, drums, etc,). In this talk, I discuss the coordination dynamics framework for understanding the role of coordination in collaborative creativity. I then discuss a few empirical examples looking at dyadic movement improvisation and dyadic and triadic musical improvisation (Vaarten & Wiltshire, 2023; Wiltshire & Fairhurst, 2023). Lastly, I will detail some recent methodological work evaluating several multivariate measures of coordination applied to group movements (Hudson et al., 2022). I’ll conclude by identifying gaps that are needed to be addressed to better understand the coordination dynamics that underpin collaborative creativity in music production.

Travis J. Wiltshire is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence, Tilburg University. He is an interdisciplinary applied cognitive scientist focusing on understanding high-level cognitive processes (e.g., collaborative problem solving, social cognition) during human interaction with social and technological environments. His research aims to examine multiple scales of analysis (e.g., behavior, cognition, and physiology) to explain the functional coordination of a system’s components as they span the boundaries of individuals and technologies in support of collaborative interactions. He completed his Ph.D. in Modeling & Simulation from the University Central Florida in 2015.


Halgas, E., van Eijndhoven, K., Gevers, J. M. P., Wiltshire, T. J., Westerink, J. H. D. M., & Rispens, S. (2022). A Review of Using Wearable Technology to Assess Team Functioning and Performance. Small Group Research, 1–37. doi.org/10.1177/10464964221125717

Hudson, D., Wiltshire, T. J., & Atzmueller, M. (2022). multiSyncPy: A Python package for assessing multivariate coordination dynamics. Behavior Research Methods. doi.org/10.3758/s13428-022-01855-y

Palumbo, R. V., Marraccini, M. E., Weyandt, L. L., Wilder-Smith, O., McGee, H. A., Liu, S., & Goodwin, M. S. (2017). Interpersonal Autonomic Physiology: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 21(2), 99–141. doi.org/10.1177/1088868316628405

Vaarten, L., & Wiltshire, T. J. (2023). Capturing coordination and intentionality in joint musical improvisation. Psychomusicology: Music, Mind, and Brain, No Pagination Specified-No Pagination Specified. doi.org/10.1037/pmu0000299

Wiltshire, T. J., & Fairhurst, M. T. (2023). Collaborative Creativity: Information-Driven Coordination Dynamics and Prediction in Movement and Musical Improvisation. In The Routledge International Handbook of Creative Cognition. Routledge. www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781003009351-39/collaborative-creativity-travis-wiltshire-merle-fairhurst

Wiltshire, T. J., Philipsen, J. S., Trasmundi, S. B., Jensen, T. W., & Steffensen, S. V. (2020). Interpersonal Coordination Dynamics in Psychotherapy: A Systematic Review. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 44(4), 752–773. doi.org/10.1007/s10608-020-10106-3