Monday, June 3, 2013

Super Bowl and Listening

Conventional wisdom (and often your own observations) says that one person’s behavior can impact another person’s behavior. For example, some studies have shown that within three years you have a high likelihood of picking up and exhibiting behaviors of the people with whom you hang out. (Many parents have cautioned their offspring about the type of friends they were choosing.) Turns out that studies of vocalization in humans have shown not only is there a dynamic relationship going on that involves different portions of the brain, but there is also a dynamic relationship with the brain that is being listened to. As reported by Gazzaniga in his book “Who’s In Charge?” fMRI studies by Uri Hasson at Princeton University measured the brain activity of two individuals who were conversing. The listener’s brain activity mirrored the speaker’s brain activity. Some areas of the listener’s brain even showed predictive anticipatory responses. When such anticipatory responses were present, there seemed to be greater understanding. Of course one needs to be really “listening” to the other brain. There are times when this may be relatively impossible. For example, I never try to talk to or get a male brain to listen to me when that male brain is watching the Super Bowl.

No comments: