The dance of conversation
Conversations are a vital form of human communication and are central to quality of life. Through conversation, we are able to share and receive information as well as develop meaningful relationships.
Like a dance, individuals coordinate their behaviors with the behaviors of their partner. This coordination is a phenomenon known as entrainment.
When we are entrained, or in sync with another, the conversation flows easily and we feel connected with our partner.
The capacity to entrain requires the ability to perceive the rhythms of others, and then to modify our own rhythms accordingly. What happens when rhythm is impaired?
With a focus on Parkinson’s disease, this talk discusses the nature of entrainment deficits and debilitating consequences on quality of life.
Stephanie Borrie is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education at Utah State University. She holds a Ph.D. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Prior to her research career, Stephanie worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist with adults with neurological disease or disorder (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, stroke, brain injury). Her research, strongly motivated by her clinical practice and her love of conversation, focuses on how neurogenic speech disorders impact human interaction. This work emphasizes the role of rhythm in communication and draws from a breadth of disciplines including speech science, cognitive science, psychology, sociolinguistics, and tools from the field of engineering.