Higher resting state functional connectivity between the vmPFC and rTPJ in individuals who display conversational synchrony

Rupa Gupta Gordon, Arianna Rigon, Natalie V. Covington, Michelle Voss, Melissa C. Duff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The neural mechanisms that support synchrony of conversational behaviors (e.g., word production, turn length) are not well understood. Lesion work has suggested that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is important for noncontent speech convergence, which measures if word production becomes more similar across a conversation (Gordon, Tranel, & Duff, 2014). However, the relationship between neural activity and conversational synchrony has not been studied in healthy individuals and it is not known if differences in neural activity contribute to individual differences in conversational behavior. In this preliminary study, we assessed noncontent speech convergence in twenty female undergraduates who conversed with an unfamiliar conversational partner for 20 min. Ten dyads displayed noncontent speech convergence as they became more similar to one another in their production of words, while the other ten did not. Furthermore, we found higher resting state functional connectivity between the vmPFC and right temporoparietal junction (rTPJ) for the ten individuals in dyads who converged compared to those who did not converge. This provides complementary evidence for the importance of the vmPFC and rTPJ for conversational synchrony in healthy individuals and suggests that intrinsic neural network activity is related to individual differences in conversational synchrony.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-220
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurolinguistics
StatePublished - Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the DeLTA Center Interdisciplinary Research Award (University of Iowa) , by the University of Iowa-Graduate & Professional Student Government Research Award and by the Magnetic Resonance Research Facility of the University of Iowa . We thank Zora Hatice, Brianna Hammer, and Ryan McCurdy for help collecting, transcribing, and coding the sessions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Communication accommodation
  • Discourse
  • Interpersonal coordination
  • Resting state functional connectivity
  • Speech convergence


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