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COGSCI
2010

Gesturing Saves Cognitive Resources When Talking About Nonpresent Objects

8 years 7 months ago
Gesturing Saves Cognitive Resources When Talking About Nonpresent Objects
In numerous experimental contexts, gesturing has been shown to lighten a speaker's cognitive load. However, in all of these experimental paradigms, the gestures have been directed to items in the ``here-and-now.'' This study attempts to generalize gesture's ability to lighten cognitive load. We demonstrate here that gesturing continues to confer cognitive benefits when speakers talk about objects that are not present, and therefore cannot be directly indexed by gesture. These findings that gesturing confers its benefits by more than simply tying abstract speech to the objects directly visible in the environment. Moreover, we show that the cognitive benefit conferred by gesturing is greater when novice learners produce gestures that add to the information expressed in speech than when they produce gestures that convey the same information as speech, suggesting that it is gesture's meaningfulness that gives it the ability to affect working memory load.
Raedy Ping, Susan Goldin-Meadow
Added 09 Dec 2010
Updated 09 Dec 2010
Type Journal
Year 2010
Where COGSCI
Authors Raedy Ping, Susan Goldin-Meadow
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