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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 - Co-Speech Gesture

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Craig Chambers

PSY274: Intro to Human Communication Lecture 4: October 8, 2013 Gestures in Human Communication Intro - Elements of communication that don’t involve language specifically - We will work up to the phenomena of Co-speech gesture Starting Points: - Notion of ―channels‖ of communication o Vocal auditory (speech) OR manual-visual (sign) Structure of Topics - Standing features of interaction o Appearance, clothes, bodily adornment - Broader aspects of ―body language‖ o Proxemics, haptics - Eyes and faces o Attentional cueing and eye gaze o Emotional expression o Audiovisual integration in speech processing - Hands o Emblems o *Co-speech gesture Standing Features of Interaction - Appearance, clothes, bodily adornment o What the individual chooses to wear conveys something o Choice of wearing jewelry, lipstick or tattoos etc. - What do/can these ―communicate‖? - Are they iconic? Indexical? Symbolic? Aspects of ―Body Language‖: proxemics, haptics - Proxemics refers to parameters for spacing between individuals or for rules governing touch - Usually depend on cultural and social factors, although some individual-level variations o Like when people get in our space, we also have rules for when people become to ―touchy‖ Eyes and Faces - Eye Gaze o Human eye: sclera surrounding pupil and iris lacks pigmentation; visible portion of eye is comparatively large for body size o Not true of other primates  Ie. Gorilla: pigmented sclera; bid body yet smaller eyes o Upshot: only human eye gives easy information on where person is looking - ―Cooperative Eye Hypothesis‖ o Human eye evolved in way that optimizes ability to track gaze of others Experiment - Tests gaze-following in human and nonhuman primates - Included: gorilla, bonobo, chimpanzee, human infant - Viewed videos of faces in different conditions PSY274: Intro to Human Communication Lecture 4: October 8, 2013 o Faces and eyes straight ahead (control condition) o Eyes closed, head tilts upward o Head stable, eyes look upward o Looked up with both eyes and head - Evaluated what kind of triggers are important for the species - Human infants: tend to shift own gaze only following changes in viewed EYE position o Ie. they didn’t follow the point of gaze of the individual in the video o Seems like humans have this deeply program sensitivity - Great Apes: Tend to shift own gaze in response to changes in viewed HEAD position o They followed course ques, to que them the intentional focus of the individual has changed o Suggested that other primates do not use the eye ques that humans use Are We ―Wired‖ to Shift Our Atteniton in Response to the Gaze Shifts of Others? - ―Reflective/Automatic‖? - Attention-cueing task: press L or R button, depending on where ―+‖ appears; reaction time is measured - There is a face in the middle of the screen that has eyes looking either left or right before the ―+‖ sign appears o Eye gaze cue is either valid (predictive of L-R position) or invalid o Baseline: when the eyes do not move (eyes look straight ahead) - Measured o Reaction time; o Speed of valid cue (relative to baseline) compared to the reaction time of the invalid cue (relative to baseline) - Results: o Valid cue condition: RT faster compared to baseline o Invalid cue condition: RT slower compared to baseline - Important point: effect occurs even after many trials, when participant should have learned gaze cue is overall not predictive (50% valid, 50% invalid). Automatic? - Beyond the lab: gaze-driven attentional shifts now not believed to be ―automatic‖ but, still a strong link between gaze and communicative behavior Eyes and Faces (Cont’d) - Facial expression o Emotion - Research by Ekman: surprising degree of cross-cultural similarity in how basic emotions are expressed on the face o Example: anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise o Contradicted earlier work arguing for culture-specific patterns o The set of basic emotions = recognizable even by individuals in isolated cultures shown faces of unfamiliar-looking humans Eyes and Faces (Cont’d) - Audiovisual integration in speech perception o When we are talking, not only can we see their gaze of facial expressions, but we can also see what their lips are doing as they talk - ―McGurk Effect‖ o Reflects automatic synthesis of visual and auditory information o Procedure: create videos with edited audio tracks PSY274: Intro to Human Communication Lecture 4: October 8, 2013  Video image taken from recording of speaker repeated nonsense syllable (Example: ga-ga, ga-ga…)  Audio track replaced with same speaker saying different syllable (Example: ba-ba, ba-ba) o Perceptual experience??? - Visual information changes the way in which we perceive the speech input - Lips: indicate sound is a /g/ (or maybe a /d/) - Ears: indicate sound is a /b/ - Perceptual experience: in this case, neither - Is this ―joint processing‖ of auditory and visual information reflected in the brain? o The images reveal that the silent lip-reading task, the listening task, activates primary auditory and auditory-association cortices Communication and the Hands - Silent Gestures o Pantomime: miming of telling a story, or playing sherades (acting out a kind of scenario) o Pointing: ie. you have your mouth full of food, and someone asks you for something, and you just point in the direction o Specialized conventions: usually specific to profession/particular task—sports signals, waving in plan to gate, astronauts, scuba divers, lifeguards o ―Emblems‖: more commonly-known; not specific to profession/task, but meaning = culturally-specified –―hi‖/‖bye‖ wave, ―crazy‖, thumbs-up, crossed fingers for luck, rude gestures… A short extract from a video on EMBLEMS - Note: what the presenter refers to as ―illustrators‖ are things we will describe as co- speech gestures later on Co-speech Gestures - Gestures that accompany speech; tend to reflect patterns that are comparatively similar across cultures - Meaning/function can be understood only in relation to speech - Only recently have these become the topic of focused research using a wide variety of experimental methodologies - Today: o Some broad observations on the link with speech o Classification: different types of co-speech gestures o For whose benefit do we gesture? o Relationship to information conveyed by speech Links between Co-Speech Gesture and Speech - Development o Initial state: infants produce communicative gestures, no speech o Communicative gestures, unrelated speech o Related speech + communicative gestures are produced at the same time that temporal synchrony is achieved, just before ―2-word stage‖ o One acquired, very tight coupling - Deficits/ Disorders o Gestures and
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