UC Merced Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society Title Gestures in Communication through Line Graphs Publication Date
Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
Line graphs are widely used in communication settings, for conveying information about states and processes that unfold in time. The communication is achieved by the contribution of other modalities than graphs, such as language and gestures. In a set of experimental investigations, we analyzed the production and comprehension of gestures during communication through line graphs. The findings reveal a systematic use of gestures as well as the limitations of cognitive resources due to the split
... s due to the split of attention between the modalities. Graphs are abundant both in spoken communication settings (e.g., classroom settings) and in written communication settings (e.g., newspaper articles). Communication through graphs is achieved by means of the contribution of several modalities: language (both in written form and in spoken form), graphical cues in written communication settings, and gestures in spoken communication settings. The previous research on multimodal comprehension reveals a frequent use of spatial terms that convey spatial information in communication through line graphs (Habel & Acartürk, 2007) . Moreover, in spoken communication, people tend to produce more gestures when they perform tasks that involve spatial information, compared to tasks with no spatial information (Alibali et al., 2001; Trafton et al., 2006; Hostetter & Sullivan, 2011) . Consequently, in communication through line graphs, humans frequently produce gestures that accompany spoken language. graph in Figure 1 was generated by applying a local regression method called Loess smoothing on data points. The resulting spatial aspects of line graphs, such as smoothness, influence humans' interpretation of the states and processes (Acartürk et al., 2008) , a topic beyond the scope of the present study.