Is the coupled control of hand and mouth postures precursor of reciprocal relations between gestures and words?

Maurizio Gentilucci, Giovanna Cristina Campione, Elisa De Stefani, Alessandro Innocenti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We tested whether a system coupling hand postures related to gestures to the control of internal mouth articulators during production of vowels exists and it can be precursor of a system relating hand/arm gestures to words. Participants produced unimanual and bimanual representational gestures expressing the meaning of LARGE or SMALL. Once the gesture was produced, in experiment 1 they pronounced the vowels "A" or "I", in experiment 2 the word "GRàNDE" (large) or "PìCCOLO" (small), and in experiment 3 the pseudo-words "SCRàNTA" or "SBìCCARA" Mouth, hand kinematics and voice spectra were recorded and analyzed. Unimanual gestures affected voice spectra of the two vowels pronounced alone (experiment 1). Bimanual and both unimanual and bimanual gestures affected voice spectra of /a/ and /i/ included in the words (experiment 2) and pseudo-words (experiment 3), respectively. The results support the hypothesis that a system coupling hand gestures to vowel production exists. Moreover, they suggest the existence of a more general system relating gestures to words.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-140
Number of pages11
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Volume233
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2012

Keywords

  • Gesture
  • Human kinematics
  • Voice Spectra
  • Vowel production
  • Word

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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