Gestures accompanying verbal route directions: Do they point to a new avenue for examining spatial representations?

  • Allen G
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Spontaneous gestures during university students’ verbal route directions to four campus locations were examined to address questions concerning the relative frequency, types, and relative timing of such responses. Results indicated that individuals who gestured more frequently tended to speak more rapidly than did those who gestured less frequently. Deictic gestures, which map directly onto environmental circumstances, were more frequent than either iconic gestures or beats, with metaphoric gestures being rare. Gross gesture-speech asynchrony was common with deictic gestures accompanying directional terms (especially right and left) but not with beats accompanying such terms.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Gestures
  • Route directions
  • Spatial cognition
  • Wayfinding

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  • Gary L. Allen

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