Dr Honisch’s research investigates theoretical models of behavioural synchrony (ESRC funded). The theoretical model includes specific processes such as (1) classical conditioning, (2) perceptual fluency and (3) self-other overlap. For example with respect to the process of perceptual fluency (2); when two or more people synchronise with one another, they unify with each other to create a perceptual unit, a meaningful whole. This perceptual unit can reduce cognitive load and consequently increase perceptual fluency and the availability of limited processing capacities. Dr Honisch’s researches if the effect of synchrony on limited cognitive resources can influence social perception through its early effects on perceptual fluency.
She also investigates how we use sensory information to time and synchronise our movements with focus on interpersonal synchronization between two or more people. Dr Honisch uses 3D motion tracking tools and 3D virtual displays to investigate how expert and non-expert performers (e.g. dancers) coordinate their movements in time and space. This research focuses on identifying events within the movement trajectory to which performers may time their movements with one another. In addition, she looks into the effects of visual and motor familiarity on expert dancers’ interpersonal synchronization accuracy. Dr Honisch’s research also looks into group performances, in specific how the brain combines visual timing information from each member within the group as a cue for one’s own movement timing.
Dr Honisch is also interested in the aspect of agency and movement timing (“I am in control of what I produce vs. someone else is in control of what I produce”), audience perception of ensemble synchronization and creativity in dance.