The new format of online communications, which came to us during the pandemic, has become firmly entrenched in our lives, especially in the fields of education and business. On the one hand, we have received more freedom and opportunities, on the other hand, many are dissatisfied with the remote format of interaction. Most are inclined to believe that the live format of communication allows you to better understand and feel the interlocutor, and gives the speaker the opportunity to feel the audience, feedback from it and build a more emotional and memorable report. All this is due to the fact that in addition to the verbal information that people share when communicating, we read the flow of visual and auditory non-verbal information, which creates a complete picture of the interlocutor’s perception. It has been shown that in the perception of visual non-verbal information, an important role is played by the mirror system of the brain and the motor and sensorimotor areas of the cortex, where information about the movements, gestures, posture and facial expressions of the interlocutor is projected.

To find out how the activity of the visual and sensorimotor areas of the cortex changes when switching to the video format of interaction, the authors of the article, employees of the Institute of Internal Medicine and the Scientific Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, analyzed the EEG reaction of mu and alpha rhythms in 83 healthy volunteers in an experiment with observation of identical actions, which demonstrators showed live and on video. The experiment was structured in such a way that the picture observed by the participant live or on the monitor screen was as close as possible - this was taken into account when preparing videos and during live demonstrations of movements. To exclude the spread of the visual alpha rhythm to the sensorimotor areas of the cortex, the ICA method was used, which makes it possible to separate the mu and alpha components. The control task was to observe the movement of a non-biological object - a ball in a maze. The background was a video with a static demonstrator. The mu rhythm response was analyzed in two ranges - 8-13 Hz and 13-24 Hz. The authors showed that the mu rhythm's core range, 8–13 Hz, is indeed sensitive to biological and social movements and is highly dependent on the interaction format—live demonstration elicited a significantly larger mu rhythm response in sensorimotor cortical areas. The alpha rhythm did not show sensitivity to the biological type of movement observed, however, the live demonstration initially caused a stronger concentration of visual attention, which then decreased to the level of the video format. At the same time, the upper range of the sensorimotor mu rhythm showed greater sensitivity to various gestures demonstrated by the subjects, which must be taken into account when developing neural interfaces. Thus, it is necessary to understand that during remote communication, both the concentration of visual attention and subtle social forms of nonverbal communications associated with the work of the motor and sensorimotor areas of the cerebral cortex may suffer.