Munich Neuroscience Calendar


11.06.2018, 18:00 RTG 2175: Perception in Context and its Neural Basis
until 20:00
Event Type: Talk
Speaker: Fred Cummins
Institute: Cognitive Science Programme, University College Dublin

Title: Speaking as one: Joint Speech as a distinguished form of foundational human coordination

Small Lecture Hall, B01.019
GroƟhadernerstr. 2
82152 Martinsried

Host: Simon Renner, RTG 2175
Host Email:
"Joint speech is found wherever multiple utter the same words at the same time. This empirical definition draws our attention to such foundational activities as ritual and prayer, protest, and the enactment of tribal identity in chanting on the football terraces. In all these cases, there is something important going on that serves to found human collectives, and yet joint speech has not been studied as an important form of vocal activity. Conventional approaches to "language" miss the phenomenon entirely.

I will provide many examples to illustrate joint speech, including initial scientific findings in social neuroscience, in phonetics, and in sensorimotor synchronisation. Each example shows that paying attention to this very familiar activity bears immediate scientific fruit, but challenges the way we consider language as a species-defining behaviour. No particular grounding in any of the contributing disciplines will be assumed, and the activity of joint speech will be familiar to all present."