ERIC Number: EJ851473
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Muscular Activity in the Arm during Lexical Retrieval: Implications for Gesture-Speech Theories
Morsella, Ezequiel; Krauss, Robert M.
Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, v34 n4 p415-427 Jul 2005
The origin and functions of the hand and arm gestures that accompany speech production are poorly understood. It has been proposed that gestures facilitate lexical retrieval, but little is known about when retrieval is accompanied by gestural activity and how this activity is related to the semantics of the word to be retrieved. Electromyographic (EMG) activity of the dominant forearm was recorded during a retrieval task in which participants tried to identify target words from their definitions. EMG amplitudes were significantly greater for concrete than for abstract words. The relationship between EMG amplitude and other conceptual attributes of the target words was examined. EMG was positively related to a word's judged spatiality, concreteness, drawability, and manipulability. The implications of these findings for theories of the relation between speech production and gesture are discussed.
Descriptors: Speech, Semantics, Motor Reactions, Language Processing, Experiments, Language Research, Human Body, Nonverbal Communication, Recall (Psychology)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A