Neural alterations in interpersonal distance (Ipd) cognition and its correlation with ipd behavior: A systematic review

Xinxin Huang, Shin Ichi Izumi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background. Interpersonal distance (IPD) plays a critical role in a human being’s social life, especially during interpersonal interaction, and IPD is non-verbal social information and not only provides silent cues but also provides a secure space for personal relationships. IPD has been a research field of neural studies from the recent decade, researches had provided behavior and neural correlates of IPD. Objectives. This review aims to summarize the experimental paradigms of IPD-neural research, to reveal the neural activity processes associated with it, and to explore the correlation between IPD-neural activity and IPD-behavior. Methods. We conducted a standardized systematic review procedure, including the formal search method be adopted to seek out any type of studies related to IPD and brain, then devised them into categories to make a systematic review. Results. 17 articles met the inclusion criteria of the review, 5 event-related potential (ERP) studies measured the amplitude and latencies of ERPs, and 12 functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies provided the neural activation during IPD tasks. In addition, the passive IPD experimental paradigm is the main experimental paradigm for exploring neural activity in IPD cognition, with the parietal lobe, motor areas, prefrontal lobe, and amygdala being the main brain areas involved. Functional connections between the identified brain regions were found and have a moderate correlation with IPD behavior. Conclusions. This review provides the neural activity of the IPD interaction process. However, the insufficient ecological validity of IPD tasks and ignore the initiative of people in IPD interaction. Therefore, there is a large research space on this topic. The work of the current systematic review contributed to linking the external performance and inner neural activities of IPD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1015
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug


  • Correlation
  • Functional connectivity
  • Interpersonal distance
  • Neural activation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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