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Journal Article

A speaker’s gesture style can affect language comprehension: ERP evidence from gesture-speech integration

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Obermeier,  Christian
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Gunter,  Thomas C.
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Obermeier_2015.pdf
(Publisher version), 552KB

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Citation

Obermeier, C., Kelly, S. D., & Gunter, T. C. (2015). A speaker’s gesture style can affect language comprehension: ERP evidence from gesture-speech integration. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 10(9), 1236-1243. doi:10.1093/scan/nsv011.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-70C8-3
Abstract
In face-to-face communication, speech is typically enriched by gestures. Clearly, not all people gesture in the same way, and the present study explores whether such individual differences in gesture style are taken into account during the perception of gestures that accompany speech. Participants were presented with one speaker that gestured in a straightforward way and another that also produced self-touch movements. Adding trials with such grooming movements makes the gesture information a much weaker cue compared with the gestures of the non-grooming speaker. The Electroencephalogram was recorded as participants watched videos of the individual speakers. Event-related potentials elicited by the speech signal revealed that adding grooming movements attenuated the impact of gesture for this particular speaker. Thus, these data suggest that there is sensitivity to the personal communication style of a speaker and that affects the extent to which gesture and speech are integrated during language comprehension.