Poster D69, Monday, March 27, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Action representations depicted in gesture are modulated by motion-content in Parkinson’s disease.
Stacey Humphries1,2, Judith Holler3, Trevor Crawford4, Ellen Poliakoff2; 1University of Pennsylvania, 2University of Manchester, 3Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, 4University of Lancaster
In communication, speech is often accompanied by co-speech gestures, which embody a link between language and action. Language impairments in Parkinson’s disease (PD) are particularly pronounced for action-related words in comparison to nouns. In addition, patients with PD produce fewer gestures from a first-person perspective when they describe others’ actions (Humphries et al., 2016), which may reflect a difficulty in simulation. We extended this to investigate the gestural depiction of other types of action information such as “manner” (how an action is performed) and “path” (the trajectory of a moving figure in space). We also explored whether the level of motion required to perform an action influences the way that PD patients use gestures to depict those actions. 37 PD patients and 35 age-matched controls viewed a cartoon which included low motion actions (e.g. hiding, knocking) and high motion actions (e.g. running, climbing), and narrated it to an addressee. We analysed the co-speech gestures they spontaneously produced while doing so. Overall gesture rate was similar in both groups, but PD patients produced action-gestures at a significantly lower rate than controls in both motion conditions. PD patients also produced significantly fewer manner and first-person action gestures than controls in the high motion condition, but not the low motion condition. Our findings suggest that motor-cognitive impairments in PD contribute to the way actions, especially high motion actions, are depicted gesturally. PD patients may have particular difficulty cognitively representing high motion actions, which affects the way they communicate about them.
Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Other