Exploring the Mind | Zoom Disrupts the Rhythm of Conversation on AADL.TV
Conversation might be our superpower.
As Dr. Julie Boland will explain, carrying on a conversation requires very efficient multi-tasking, yet it often feels effortless. Researchers have proposed several automatic mechanisms that could facilitate this effortless multi-tasking. One such mechanism is the synching of a group of neurons into an "oscillatory timer" that fires in rhythm with our partner's speech rate. This oscillator could help us to time our responses to begin as the other speaker is ending their turn. In recent research, I've found evidence for the hypothesis that videoconferencing software like Zoom disrupts the rhythm of the oscillator, because of inherent, variable, electronic transmission delays. This is likely to be one factor that makes Zoom conversations more tiring than face to face conversations.
Dr. Julie Boland is a Professor of Psychology and Linguistics at the University of Michigan. She is a cognitive psychologist and psycholinguist who investigates the cognitive mechanisms that support language processing in adults. Her work is motivated by a desire to know how the mind works as we use language. Much of her research focuses on mental grammar, asking questions such as: How does a listener build a hierarchical grammatical structure from a serial string of words? How do we resolve ambiguities in language? How do bilinguals manage two grammars? Recently, she has become fascinated with how quickly and easily people manage multiple streams of processing during conversation. Dr. Boland received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Rochester.
This program is in partnership with the University of Michigan Department of Psychology.