2012年11月22日木曜日

Speaker–listener neural coupling underlies successful communication


Greg J. Stephens, Lauren J. Silbert, and Uri Hasson
PNAS August 10, 2010 vol. 107 no. 32 14425-14430

話し手と聞き手の脳(fMRI)活動は、聴覚野、頭頂葉、側頭葉、前頭葉など様々な部位で同期する(多くの場合、聞き手の活動が遅れる)。また、同期の強さから、両者のコミュニケーションの成功/失敗を予測できる。なお、話し手と聞き手が異なる言語を使っていてコミュニケーションが取れない場合は同期は起こらない(聴覚野のみで同期)。

Verbal communication is a joint activity; however, speech production and comprehension have primarily been analyzed as independent processes within the boundaries of individual brains. Here, we applied fMRI to record brain activity from both speakers and listeners during natural verbal communication. We used the speaker's spatiotemporal brain activity to model listeners’ brain activity and found that the speaker's activity is spatially and temporally coupled with the listener's activity. This coupling vanishes when participants fail to communicate. Moreover, though on average the listener's brain activity mirrors the speaker's activity with a delay, we also find areas that exhibit predictive anticipatory responses. We connected the extent of neural coupling to a quantitative measure of story comprehension and find that the greater the anticipatory speaker–listener coupling, the greater the understanding. We argue that the observed alignment of production- and comprehension-based processes serves as a mechanism by which brains convey information.

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