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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

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ORIGINAL

What really happens when we talk

6 minutes

There’s a lot more to conversation than words. What really happens when we talk

It’s no surprise that speech is the primary means of communication for humans – we talk a lot. Yet most of the study of speech in psychology and cognitive neuroscience has focused on language. There is, however, another aspect of speech that reveals fascinating insights about our behaviour beyond just the words we say to each other: conversation. In this Aeon interview, the UK neuroscientist Sophie Scott dissects the hidden physiology and psychology at work during conversations, and discusses why being superior conversationalists might have given us an evolutionary leg-up over our primate cousins.

Producer: Kellen Quinn

Interviewer: Nigel Warburton

Editor: Adam D'Arpino

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

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