Mechanisms underlying the beneficial effect of a speaker ’s gestures on the listener
Publication date: October 2017 Source:Journal of Memory and Language, Volume 96 Author(s): Francesco Ianì, Monica Bucciarelli A well-established literature reveals that a speaker’s gestures have beneficial effects on the listener’s memory for speech. A main assumption of our investigation is that gestures improve memory through the exploitation of the listener’s motor system. We tested this prediction in four experiments in which the participants listened to action sentences uttered by a speaker who either stayed still or accompanied the speech with congruent gestures. The results revealed that when the listeners observed gestures their memory for speech improved (Experiment 1), but loading up the listeners’ motor system during gestures observation cancelled the beneficial effect when the motor task involved the same effectors used by the speaker (arms and hands, Experiments 2–3). The beneficial effect of gestures persisted when the motor task involved different effectors (legs and feet, Experiment 4). These results support the assumption of a main involvement of the motor system in the beneficial effect of observed gestures.
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We describe approaches for back‐calculating model parameter estimates and their standard errors from available summary statistics with various techniques, including approximate Bayesian computation. We propose to use a quadratic approximation to the log‐likelihood for each historical trial based on 2 independent terms for the log mean rate and the log of the dispersion parameter. A Bayesian hierarchical meta‐analysis model then provides the posterior predictive distribution for these parameters. Simulations show this approach with back‐calculated parameter estimates results in very similar inference as using parame...
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