Gestures Occur With Spatial and Motoric Knowledge: It's More Than Just Coincidence Representational gestures are hand and arm movements that are related to the semantic content of co-occurring speech. In this review, we present evidence that such movements not only provide insight into the knowledge possessed by a speaker, but also provide insight into how that knowledge is represented. Specifically, gestures often ... Article
Article  |   March 01, 2015
Gestures Occur With Spatial and Motoric Knowledge: It's More Than Just Coincidence
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Autumn Hostetter
    Department of Psychology, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Elina Mainela-Arnold
    Department of Speech-Language Pathology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Financial Disclosure: Autumn Hostetter is an associate professor of psychology at Kalamazoo College. Elina Mainela-Arnold is an associate professor of speech-language pathology at the University of Toronto.
    Financial Disclosure: Autumn Hostetter is an associate professor of psychology at Kalamazoo College. Elina Mainela-Arnold is an associate professor of speech-language pathology at the University of Toronto.×
  • Nonfinancial Disclosure: Autumn Hostetter has previously published in the subject area. Elina Mainela-Arnold has previously published in the subject area.
    Nonfinancial Disclosure: Autumn Hostetter has previously published in the subject area. Elina Mainela-Arnold has previously published in the subject area.×
Article Information
Development / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Articles
Article   |   March 01, 2015
Gestures Occur With Spatial and Motoric Knowledge: It's More Than Just Coincidence
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, March 2015, Vol. 22, 42-49. doi:10.1044/lle22.2.42
History: Received November 3, 2014 , Revised December 15, 2014 , Accepted December 17, 2015
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, March 2015, Vol. 22, 42-49. doi:10.1044/lle22.2.42
History: Received November 3, 2014; Revised December 15, 2014; Accepted December 17, 2015

Representational gestures are hand and arm movements that are related to the semantic content of co-occurring speech. In this review, we present evidence that such movements not only provide insight into the knowledge possessed by a speaker, but also provide insight into how that knowledge is represented. Specifically, gestures often occur with the communication of information that is understood spatially or motorically but that has not yet been verbally or linguistically encoded. Using gesture to convey such information can have a number of benefits for speakers, including facilitation of speech production processes and reduction of cognitive load. We focus our review on evidence from individual differences in gesture production among both typical and clinical populations, and conclude with a few recommendations for language therapists who are interested in using gesture as a tool in their practice.

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