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The neural basis of non-verbal communication - enhanced processing of perceived give-me gestures in 9-month-old girls
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
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2015 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 6, p. 59-Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigated the neural basis of non-verbal communication. Event-related potentials were recorded while 29 nine-month-old infants were presented with a give me gesture (experimental condition) and the same hand shape but rotated 90 degrees, resulting in a non-communicative hand configuration (control condition). We found different responses in amplitude between the two conditions, captured in the P400 ERR component. Moreover, the size of this effect was modulated by participants' sex, with girls generally demonstrating a larger relative difference between the two conditions than boys.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 6, p. 59-
Keywords [en]
give-me gesture, ERP, P400, sex differences, non-verbal communication, social perception, infancy
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-246336DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00059ISI: 000348913300001PubMedID: 25705196OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-246336DiVA, id: diva2:794072
Available from: 2015-03-10 Created: 2015-03-05 Last updated: 2018-08-29
In thesis
1. How hands shape the mind: The P400 as an index of manual actions and gesture perception
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How hands shape the mind: The P400 as an index of manual actions and gesture perception
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Being able to perform and understand actions is crucial for proper functioning in the social world. From birth, we use our bodies to act and to promote learning about ourselves, our environment and other people’s actions and intentions. Our mind is embodied; thus, our actions play a crucial role in cognitive and social development.

This thesis focuses on the close interrelation between action and perception and the role of our hands in this link. Three empirical studies on action processing are presented in a framework of embodied cognition that emphasises the role of bodily experience in social development. All three studies were designed to measure event-related potentials (ERPs) in infants 4 to 9 months old, when they observed manual actions, grasping and the give-me gesture.

Study I demonstrates the neural underpinnings of infants’ action–perception link at the age when their ability to grasp for objects in a functional manner emerges. Neural processing has been found to be influenced by infants’ own manual experience of exactly the same grasping action.

Study II reveals that brief active motor training with goal-directed actions, even before the solid motor plans for grasping are developed, facilitates processing of others’ goal-directed actions.

Study III shows that the same neural correlate that indexes processing of reaching actions is involved in encoding of the give-me gesture, a type of non-verbal communication that conveys a request. This ability was found not to be directly dependent on the infants’ own ability to respond behaviourally to another person’s gesture.

This thesis pinpoints the neural correlate, P400, involved in the processing of goal-directed actions and gestures. The findings highlight the importance of motor experience, as well as the involvement of attentional processes in action processing. Additionally, the data from Study III may suggest a possible involvement of grasping skills in encoding non-verbal communicative gestures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. p. 92
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 159
Keywords
goal-directed actions, action processing, EEG, ERP, P400, gestures, grasping, embodiment, social development, give-me gesture, dynamic system theory
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-358475 (URN)978-91-513-0431-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-10-19, Auditorium Minus, Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
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Available from: 2018-09-27 Created: 2018-08-29 Last updated: 2018-10-16

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Bakker, MartaElsner, ClaudiaJuvrud, JoshuaGredebäck, Gustaf

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