The potential role of dopamine in mediating motor function and interpersonal synchrony

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Motor functions in general and motor planning in particular are crucial for our ability to synchronize our movements with those of others. To date, these co-occurring functions have been studied separately, and as yet it is unclear whether they share a common biological mechanism. Here, we synthesize disparate recent findings on motor functioning and interpersonal synchrony and propose that these two functions share a common neurobiological mechanism and adhere to the same principles of predictive coding. Critically, we describe the pivotal role of the dopaminergic system in modulating these two distinct functions. We present attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as an example of a disorder that involves the dopaminergic system and describe deficits in motor and interpersonal synchrony. Finally, we suggest possible directions for future studies emphasizing the role of dopamine modulation as a link between social and motor functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number382
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Dopamine
  • Forward model
  • Interpersonal synchrony
  • Motor planning
  • Predictive coding

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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