Learn to connect better with others in every area of your life. Immerse yourself in spirited conversations with people who know how hard it is, and yet how good it feels, to really connect with other people – whether it’s one person, an audience or a whole country. You'll know many of the people in these conversations – they are luminaries in our culture. Some you may not know. But what links them all is their powerful ability to relate and communicate. It's something we need now more than ever.
How do we actually learn to communicate? How is it different from how other animals learn it? Michael Tomasello explores what may be at the very heart of relating and communicating: shared attention. Alan Alda first met Michael when he interviewed him a few years ago in Leipzig, Germany. Michael was already doing experiments that studied the differences between how human children and chimps learn to communicate. He’s tracked the fascinating path humans take in learning to connect with one another – and we can learn a lot from it. Michael Tomasello heads up the world renowned Tomasello Lab at Duke University. His latest book, “Becoming Human: A Theory of Ontogeny” offers a radical reconsideration of how we develop the qualities that make us human, based on Michael’s decades of cutting-edge experimental work when he was the head of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.