New research shows how the neural activity of the speaker’s brain is synchronized with that of the listener’s.
Scientists at Princeton University have found that during a successful conversation between two individuals, the neural activity of the speaker’s brain is synchronized with that of the listener’s. And the more their brains are “coupled” in conversation, the better the listener ‘gets’ what the speaker is trying to convey.
The scientists used an fMRI, a device for measuring blood flow changes in the brain, on two people as they talked and found that a proper conversation involving both speaking and listening used common neural subsystems inside each brain. The study also found that there was an overlap between the brains of the speaker and the listener, supporting the theory that talking brings people closer by giving them a common contextual framework. Researchers involved in the study also believed that the brain synchronization would be stronger during a face to face conversation compared to a phone call or a video chat.
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