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.
Interviewer: Nigel Warburton
Producer: Kellen Quinn
Editor: Adam D’Arpino