Co-speech gestures do not originate from speech production processes: Evidence from the relationship between co-thought and co-speech gestures

Abstract

When we speak, we spontaneously produce gestures (co-speech gestures). Co-speech gestures and speech production are closely interlinked. However, the exact nature of the link is still under debate. To addressed the question that whether co-speech gestures originate from the speech production system or from a system independent of the speech production, the present study examined the relationship between co-speech and co-thought gestures. Co-thought gestures, produced during silent thinking without speaking, presumably originate from a system independent of the speech production processes. We found a positive correlation between the production frequency of co-thought and co-speech gestures, regardless the communicative function that co-speech gestures might serve. Therefore, we suggest that co-speech gestures and co-thought gestures originate from a common system that is independent of the speech production processes.


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