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Gesture and right hemisphere involvement in evaluating lecture material

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This study investigated hemispheric lateralization in comprehending and evaluating lecture material with and without nonverbal hand gestures. Participants watched a lecture with and without gesture under conditions of cognitive load in the left or right hemisphere. There were no effects of gesture or load on lecture comprehension, but gesture and load influenced how participants evaluated the lecture. Specifically, presence of gesture significantly influenced participants’ affective evaluations of the lecturer in both load conditions. However, gesture influenced cognitive evaluations of the lecture material only when the right hemisphere was free from cognitive load. The results suggest that the right hemisphere may be specialized for processing information conveyed through hand gestures.
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Keywords: Gesture; comprehension; lateralization; right hemisphere; speech

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Colgate University

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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