Does extraneous perception of motion affect gesture production?

AbstractSpeech-accompanying gestures vary depending on features of the communicative situation. In the present study, we examined whether they might also be affected by extraneous activity in the speaker’s sensorimotor system. We asked participants to describe short animations that involved vertical motion while simultaneously watching a display that depicted vertical motion in either a congruent or an incongruent direction. Speakers produced gestures depicting vertical motion at a higher rate when describing the target motion events when they were simultaneously watching a display that depicted motion in the same direction than when watching motion in the opposite direction. These results suggest that the cognitive basis of gesture lies in the sensorimotor system.

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