Seminar: Professor Sotaro Kita 'Gesture: its relationship to thinking and speaking'

Gesture: its relationship to thinking and speaking

Professor Sotaro Kita, University of Warwick

12.30-2pm, Thursday 9th May, St Leonard's Land, room 2.14, Moray House School of Education, Holyrood Road, EH88AQ

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This presentation concerns a theory on how gestures (accompanying speaking and silent thinking) are generated and how gestures facilitate the gesturer's own cognitive processes. I will present evidence that gestures are generated from a general-purpose Action Generator, which also generates “practical” actions such as grasping a cup to drink, and that the Action Generator generates gestural representation in close coordination with the speech production process (Kita & Ozyurek, 2003, Journal of Memory and Language). I will also present evidence that gestures facilitate thinking and speaking through four functions: gesture activates, manipulates, packages and explores spatio-motoric representations (Kita, Chu, & Alibali, 2017, Psychological Review). Further, I will argue that schematic nature of gestural representation plays a crucial role in these four functions. To summarise, gesture, generated at the interface of action and language, shapes the way we think and we speak.




Date of Event 
09 May 2019
St Leonard's Land rm 2.14
Research Area 
Children & Technology
Event type