Coordinating turning while walking and talking

Abstract

Few studies have investigated multitasking in joint actions, especially two joint actions performed by two people together and coordinated via multimodal communication. We investigate the case of two people walking and talking together, a common combination of joint actions. In an experiment, pairs talked together in four varying conditions of mobility. A narrator told a story to a partner. They did this while either standing immobile, walking along a straight-line itinerary, or walking along a complex itinerary featuring several turns. They also completed a walking task along a complex itinerary without having to tell a story. One person (the navigator) was also entrusted with a map of the itinerary. We analyzed how participants coordinated turning while telling a story. Narrators relied more on verbal means to signal turning, and were more distracted during the turn, leading to more repetition of story-related content.


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