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Ever found yourself finishing someone’s…______? (sentence)

Recent research shows that the rate at which someone talks effects the brain of those listening.

Neural entrainment (another way of saying brainwave entrainment) to another’s speech patterns causes us to perceive what is going to be said next.

And the effects can last for an hour.

In other words.., while we listen to someone speak, our brain entrains to the same or similar frequency or processing speed of the person we’re listening to.

And this then effects what we hear even when we then switch to listening to someone else or if the person suddenly speeds up or slows down.

Expectation of words to come, where one word stops and another begins, and the length of the vowel sounds within a word are all effected. In some cases words can even be completely missed.

In particular the studies focused on words that can be interpreted differently based on the length of vowels. A different perceived length of vowel can for instance change a word to mean something completely different.

But the implications go further than that.

We really do get in sync with people we spend time with.

And this neural entrainment observation goes part way to explaining why there is a saying that “we become the sum total of the five people we spend the most time with”

If you spend time listening to someone who is depressed for instance; your brain will entrain to the frequency of their speech and brain frequencies and that can last for an hour after you stop listening to them.

That explains why we can feel low after spending time with someone who is low. It’s not just the negative focus of the person but also the rate at which they communicate with us that alters out internal brainwaves and thoughts.

It also helps explain how it can be almost mentally painful to listen to someone talking at a rate vastly different to our habitual one.

So what do you do if you work with people who are depressed?

Tell them to shut up and stop complaining!

No not really.

But it is true that respectfully stopping them telling their story to you past you gathering what information you need is a good first step.

And then it’s.., You talk and they listen and follow instructions.



BTW; I listen to educational youtube videos at 1.5 times speed.

Not only do I get through them quicker and learn more, but studies show learning and memory is enhanced. Based on this research I bet my brainwaves are in high gear too.

I wouldn’t do this before bed unless you sleep well though.

Now excuse me while I go and listen to a room full of billionaires.


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