The Development of the Ability to Semantically Integrate Information in Speech and Iconic Gesture in Comprehension

Kazuki Sekine, Hannah Sowden, Sotaro Kita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examined whether children's ability to integrate speech and gesture follows the pattern of a broader developmental shift between 3- and 5-year-old children (Ramscar & Gitcho, 2007) regarding the ability to process two pieces of information simultaneously. In Experiment 1, 3-year-olds, 5-year-olds, and adults were presented with either an iconic gesture or a spoken sentence or a combination of the two on a computer screen, and they were instructed to select a photograph that best matched the message. The 3-year-olds did not integrate information in speech and gesture, but 5-year-olds and adults did. In Experiment 2, 3-year-old children were presented with the same speech and gesture as in Experiment 1 that were produced live by an experimenter. When presented live, 3-year-olds could integrate speech and gesture. We concluded that development of the integration ability is a part of the broader developmental shift; however, live-presentation facilitates the nascent integration ability in 3-year-olds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1855-1880
Number of pages26
JournalCognitive Science
Volume39
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Gesture
  • Multimodal communication
  • Preschool children
  • Semantics
  • Speech

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence

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