Attention to speech-accompanying gestures: Eye movements and information uptake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


There is growing evidence that addressees in interaction integrate the semantic information conveyed by speakers’ gestures. Little is known, however, about whether and how addressees’ attention to gestures and the integration of gestural information can be modulated. This study examines the influence of a social factor (speakers’ gaze to their own gestures), and two physical factors (the gesture’s location in gesture space and gestural holds) on addressees’ overt visual attention to gestures (direct fixations of gestures) and their uptake of gestural information. It also examines the relationship between gaze and uptake. The results indicate that addressees’ overt visual attention to gestures is affected both by speakers’ gaze and holds but for different reasons, whereas location in space plays no role. Addressees’ uptake of gesture information is only influenced by speakers’ gaze. There is little evidence of a direct relationship between addressees’ direct fixations of gestures and their uptake.


External organisations
  • Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics


  • interaction, eye gaze, fixation, gesture, multimodal information processing
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-277
JournalJournal of Nonverbal Behavior
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Linguistics and Phonetics (015010003)

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