Here's why we ape others' talking style, speed and even accents

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Washington, Aug 6 (ANI): Ever noticed how your friend suddenly starts copying your style of talking? It's unintentional and is bound to happen with those we talk frequently to - says a new study.

New research by the University of California, Riverside shows that unintentional speech imitation can even make us sound like people whose voices we never hear.

UCR psychology professor Lawrence D. Rosenblum and graduate students Rachel M. Miller and Kauyumari Sanchez found that when people lipread from a talker and say aloud what they've lip-read, their speech sounds like that of the talker.

That finding is evidence that unintentional speech imitation extends to lip-reading, even for normal hearing individuals with no formal lip-reading experience.

"Whether we are hearing or lip-reading speech articulations, a talker's speaking style has subtle influences on our own manner of speaking," says Rosenblum.

"Specifically, it adds to evidence that the speech brain is sensitive to - and primed by - speech articulation, whether heard or seen," he added.

He said that a familiar talker's speaking style helps us recognize words.

The find is published in the August issue of the journal Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics. (ANI)

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