COGS 155. GESTURE AND COGNITION
Department of Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego
Summer 2011 (Jun 27-Jul 30)

Instructor: Kensy Cooperrider                                         
email: kensyATcogsci.ucsd.edu
office hours: Th 2:30 - 4:00 pm, CSB 229

Teaching assistant: Tyler Marghetis
email: tmarghetATcogsci.ucsd.edu
office hours: W 12:00 - 1:00 pm, Art of Espresso Coffee Cart (by Mandeville Auditorium)

Lectures: TuTh 11:00 am - 1:50 pm, CSB 005

A curious martian sits down in a crowded coffee shop and watches the conversations happening around him. 
What does he notice? Unable to make any sense of the garble of sounds the humans are making, he might focus instead on their movements: people creating diagrams with their hands, brandishing imaginary objects, clenching their fists, shaking their heads, pointing to scones. The coffee shop could be anywhere in the world, the people could be speaking any language, the conversations could be about anything at all— and he would still see similar behaviors. In short, our martian could not fail to notice a plain fact: when humans speak, they move. In this course we will take a close look at these co-speech movements, or gestures. We'll range over a number of topics, from how gesture relates to language, to how gesture does— and does not— differ across cultures, to the role of gesture in language development. In the first part of this course, we'll develop a framework for analyzing gesture and for understanding how it relates to speech. With this framework in hand, we will then move in the second part of the course to asking a basic question: What can gesture tell us about human cognition? Students in this course will develop, in a series of steps, a proposal to conduct novel research on some aspect of gesture and cognition. 



COURSE SCHEDULE AND READINGS

All course readings are available on the library's electronic course reserves for COGS 155 [here].


WEEK 1


June 28 — Introduction; Questions a cognitive scientist might ask about gesture; Human hands
 
SR: Streeck, Jürgen. (2009). Gesturecraft. Philadelphia: John Benjamins. **Chapter 3, "Hands", pgs. 39-58

QUESTIONS GENERATED BY THE CLASS


June 30 — How gesture relates to speech in time; Iconicity, indexicality, and conventionality in gesture

RR: Kendon, Adam. (2004). Gesture. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. **pgs. 111-123

SR: Enfield, N. (2001). ‘Lip-pointing’: A discussion of form and function with reference to data from Laos. Gesture1(2), 185-211.



WEEK 2


July 5 — 
Iconicity, indexicality, and conventionality in gesture (contd.); Abstraction in gesture

RR: McNeill, D. (1992). Hand and Mind. Chicago: Chicago University Press. ** selection on "Emblems" pgs. 56-65 

RR: Cienki, A. (2008). Why study metaphor and gesture? In A. Cienki & C. Müller, Metaphor and Gesture (pp. 5-25). Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

##: mini-project 1 due


July 7
— Abstraction in gesture (contd.); Cognitive dimensions of gesture

RR: Goldin-Meadow, S., & Beilock, S. L. (2010). Actionʼs Influence on Thought: The Case of Gesture. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5(6), 664-674. doi: 10.1177/1745691610388764.

SRNúñez, R. (2008). A fresh look at the foundations of mathematics: Gesture and the psychological reality of conceptual metaphor. In A. Cienki & C. Müller, Metaphor and Gesture (pp. 93-114). Philadelphia: John Benjamins.



WEEK 3


July 12
— Cognitive dimensions of gesture (contd.); Production models of gesture

RR: Krauss, R. M. (1998). Why do we gesture when we speak? Current Directions in Psychological Science7(2), 54-60.

RR: Ruiter, J. P. D. (2007). Postcards from the mind: The relationship between speech, imagistic gesture, and thought. Gesture, 7(1), 21-38.

SR: Hostetter, A. B., & Alibali, M. W. (2008). Visible embodiment: Gestures as simulated action. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 15(3), 495-514.

##mini-project 2 due


July 14
— Communicative dimensions of gesture

RR: Cook, S. W., & Tanenhaus, M. K. (2009). Embodied communication: speakersʼ gestures affect listeners' actions. Cognition, 113(1), 98-104. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2009.06.006.



WEEK 4


July 18 — PROPOSAL MEETINGS [schedule]

July 19 — Gesture and development

RR: Bates, E., & Dick, F. (2002). Language, gesture, and the developing brain. Developmental psychobiology, 40(3), 293-310. doi: 10.1002/dev.10034.



July 21 — Cross-cultural variation in gesture; Emerging sign languages

RR: Kita, S. (2009). Cross-cultural variation of speech-accompanying gesture: A review. Language and Cognitive Processes, 24(2), 145-167. doi: 10.1080/01690960802586188.

RRGoldin-Meadow, S. (2007). On inventing language. Daedalus, Summer, 100-103.

##research proposal background due



WEEK 5


July 26MIDTERM; Gesture, brain, and special populations 

RR: Iverson, J. M., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (1998). Why people gesture when they speak. Nature, 396(6708), 228. doi: 10.1038/24300.


July 28 —  Gestural origins of language; Wrap-up

RR: Corballis, M. C. (2008). The Gestural Origins of Language. In N. Masataka, The Origins of Language: Unraveling Evolutionary Forces (pp. 11-23). Tokyo, Japan: Springer.

##: experimetrix/ article summaries due


FINAL RESEARCH PROPOSALS due Friday, July 29 @ 10 am



NOTES

RR= required reading
SR= supplemental reading (optional)
##= assessment