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Conversation Sparks Mirrored Brain Activity

Study Finds Similar Brain Activity in Speaker/Listener Pairs

Neural Coupling continued...

The researchers say these anticipatory responses may provide listeners more time to process what they hear and more time to comprehend involves an element of prediction.

Stephens tells WebMD that “this works because the speaker’s brain is similar to the listener’s brain. We are using the same architecture. It makes sense that we use our own brain to predict what another person is saying.”

“For the most part, in neuroscience, neural systems and human brains are studied in isolation from each other,” Stephens tells WebMD. “What we’re showing, I think, is there is strong benefit to be gained when we relax the constraints. It matters a lot how we interact with others. We should look at this interaction closely and we’re likely to learn a lot.”

The study is published in the July 2010 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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