Non Verbal Communication

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Date Submitted: 06/03/2008 08:40 AM

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Loehr, Daniel. (2007). Aspects of rhythm in gesture and speech. Gesture, 7, 179-214.

The purpose of this article was to examine the rhythmic relationship between gesture and speech. Participants were four subjects having ordinary conversations with their friends while being filmed. These participants were Native speakers of English and did not know the topic that was being observed from the film. These groups were chosen of all men or all women who were friends prior to the study to make the conversation flow smoothly. Four clips were chosen for a total of 164 seconds. The fourth clip was the most interesting and therefore was put into a special Apple program to line up each participant side by side to see the synchrony of their gestures.

Several thousand time-stamped observations were manually coded in a digital video annotation tool and transported for to be statistically analyzed. This test revealed a great rhythmic sequential relationship between the head, hands, eyelids, and other parts of the body. Pikes were looked at closely during this study. While looking at the films there were numbers of ways to judge a humans response. Head nods, gesture strokes, pitch accents, stressed syllables, eye blinks and many others can be referred to as “pikes”. Pikes are the distinctive gesture expressions with the synchrony of the participators. Eye blinks, for example, were synchronized with eyelids on command of them being closed until reopening on a rhythmic pattern. Also while looking at hands, head and speech, hands were more likely to move the most quickly and speech was presented the most slowly. All three had a similar tempo of about a third of a second, most likely to synchronize the meeting points. These findings provide practical information to earlier observations of a rhythmic relationship between gesture and speech.

Church, Ruth Breckinridge, Garber, Philip, & Rogalski, Kathryn. (2007). The role of gesture in memory and social...