Neural evidence for the interplay between language, gesture, and action: A review

@article{Willems2007NeuralEF,
  title={Neural evidence for the interplay between language, gesture, and action: A review},
  author={Roel M. Willems and Peter Hagoort},
  journal={Brain and Language},
  year={2007},
  volume={101},
  pages={278-289}
}
Cortical motor contributions to language understanding
TLDR
There is considerable evidence that understanding language can involve parts of the authors' motor cortex, but this relation is best thought of as inherently flexible because the exact nature of the input as well as the intention with which language is perceived influences whether and how motor cortex plays a role in language processing.
Gesture, brain, and language
Language, Gesture, and Emotional Communication: An Embodied View of Social Interaction
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Here, the role of the sensorimotor cortex and in general of the human MM on both language perception and understanding is addressed, focusing on recent studies on the integration between symbolic gestures and speech.
Language, Gesture, and Emotional Communication: An Embodied View of Social Interaction
Spoken language is an innate ability of the human being and represents the most widespread mode of social communication. The ability to share concepts, intentions and feelings, and also to respond to
Co-speech gestures are a window into the effects of Parkinson’s disease on action representations
TLDR
An earlier finding that people with Parkinson’s disease are less likely to gesture about actions from a first-person perspective is replicated.
Gestures enhance foreign language learning
TLDR
The use of gesture is proposed as a facilitating educational tool that integrates body and mind and indicates that the neural representation of words consists of complex multimodal networks connecting perception and motor acts that occur during learning.
A cross-talk between brain-damage patients and infants on action and language
Action-Related Speech Modulates Beta Oscillations During Observation of Tool-Use Gestures
TLDR
The processing of action-related sentences might facilitate gesture observation, in the sense that motor simulation required for TU gestures, as indexed by reduced beta power, was modulated when accompanied by comprehensible German speech.
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Findings provide direct evidence that action and language processing share a high-level neural integration system.
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Results suggesting that language and gesture are "close family" are reviewed, then evidence that raises questions about how real those "family resemblances" are is turned to, summarizing dissociations from developmental studies of several different child populations.
Language perception activates the hand motor cortex: implications for motor theories of speech perception
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The hand motor system is found to be activated by linguistic tasks, most notably pure linguistic perception, but not by auditory or visuospatial processing, which supports the theory that language may have evolved within a general and bilateral action‐perception network.
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Investigating the influence of processing action verbs and concrete nouns on the execution of a reaching movement provides unambiguous evidence that action words and motor action share common cortical representations and could thus suggest that cortical motor regions are indeed involved in action word retrieval.
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language and action? Both historical (e.g. Descartes, 1992) and contemporary (e.g. Fodor, 1975) philosophers have argued that language is separate from perception and action, that it is a higher
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There is greater modulation of activity in the hand muscles when reading sentences describing transfer of both concrete objects and abstract information, and this finding is discussed in relation to the human mirror neuron system.
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TLDR
Despite the difference in the modality and in the specificity of meaning conveyed by spoken words and gestures, the latency, amplitude, and topographical distribution of both word and gesture mismatches are found to be similar, indicating that the brain integrates both types of information simultaneously.
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