You know when you meet someone and you feel like you’ve known them since time immemorial and you’re total instant BFFs?
According to a limited study at Princeton utilizing MRI scans, it like totally happened. The study used magnetic resonance to monitor brain patterns during conversations and found some evidence to back up conversational “clicking”:
The scans showed that the listeners’ brain patterns tracked those of the storyteller almost exactly, though trailed 1 to 3 seconds behind. But in some listeners, brain patterns even preceded those of the storyteller.
“We found that the participants’ brains became intimately coupled during the course of the ‘conversation’, with the responses in the listener’s brain mirroring those in the speaker’s,” says Uri Hasson of Princeton University.
Hasson’s team measured overlap in the patterns between participants, showing when the overlap in brain patterns was similar, listeners recounted stories more accurately. The “clicking” didn’t occur when the stories were told in Russian, a language unintelligible to the listeners. Concluded Hasson:
“The more similar our brain patterns during a conversation, the better we understand each other.”