Gestures 1/31/2010 3:07:00 PM
Two channels of communication
1. vocal auditory
2. manual visual
Multimodal aspects of communication:
1. EYE GAZE – the iris in humans lacks pigmentation. Hence, visible portion of the eye is
large for the body in terms of size. It is easy to see where a person is looking or the
point of gaze.
In case of gorillas, their iris has pigmentation hence, their eyes look small.
Cooperative EYE hypothesis:
Humans eyes are evolved in such a way that they can optimize their ability to track.
2. Facial Expressions- there is a cross-cultural similarity in how facial expressions are
Example: Disgust, Joy, Anger, Surprise etc
3. Audio-Visual Integration
when people talk, they use both audio and visual information.
Shows automatic integration of visual and auditory information.
What one hears with their eyes closed ( GAGA) is different from what they
hear with them open ( DADA ).
4. communication in preverbal and older children
McNeill conducted an experiment where two boxes were given to children
wherein they put in their stickers in ONE and were supposed to place them
either together or at separate ends. Their job now was to indicate to the
experimenter the box in which the stickers were put in.
Would they use a pointing or a reaching strategy? Preverbal children used sophisticated thinking as they found ‘pointing’ to be
useless if the boxes were placed together unlike in the case where the boxes
are at separate ends.
Eye gaze and facial expressions are indexible as they are correlated to
direction and emotions respectively.
1. Illustrators: boy was I stupid? Hitting yourself on the head
2. Affect Display: displaying emotions.
3. Regulators: Sub conscious movements like nodding your head etc, when
4. Tells: revealing your thoughts w.o knowing
5. Haptics: touching shows solidarity, giving someone a hug when
they’re in sorrow.
6. Proxemics: how humans carry space, we don’t like people too
close or invading our privacy.
7. Beat: stress points in our utterances
They accompany speech and reflect patterns similar across
Everyone has their own signature though.
1. Silent Gestures: Pantomime ( charades, miming)
Emblems: Hi/Bye waves, thumbs up