Become a
Friend of 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
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

Video/Music

What happens when rock stardom doesn’t quite work out?

10 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/History of Ideas

How did the 20th century’s most glamorous intellectual friendship go wrong?

3 minutes

Video/Demography & Migration

On the US-Mexico border, loved ones on both sides can see each other but cannot touch

12 minutes

Idea/Consciousness & Altered States

Our illusory sense of agency has a deeply important social purpose

Chris Frith

ORIGINAL
Video/Cognition & Intelligence

For millennia, we’d never seen anything like film cuts. How do we process them so easily?

7 minutes

Essay/Neuroscience

Where pain lives

Fixing chronic back pain is possible only when patients understand how much it is produced by the brain, not the spine

Cathryn Jakobson Ramin

Essay/Human Evolution

Imagination is ancient

Our imaginative life today has access to the pre-linguistic, ancestral mind: rich in imagery, emotions and associations

Stephen T Asma

Idea/Psychiatry & Psychotherapy

The history of brainwashing is a red flag for techno-therapy

David Saunders

Video/Childhood & Adolescence

What to make of a Riot Grrrl? A snapshot of feminism and high school in the 1990s

18 minutes