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The eye contact effect in request and emblematic hand gestures

Ferri, F and Busiello, M and Campione, GC and De Stefani, E and Innocenti, A and Romani, GL and Costantini, M and Gentilucci, M (2014) 'The eye contact effect in request and emblematic hand gestures.' European Journal of Neuroscience, 39 (5). pp. 841-851. ISSN 0953-816X

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Request and emblematic gestures, despite being both communicative gestures, do differ in terms of social valence. Indeed, only the former are used to initiate/maintain/terminate an actual interaction. If such a difference is at stake, a relevant social cue, i.e. eye contact, should have different impacts on the neuronal underpinnings of the two types of gesture. We measured blood oxygen level-dependent signals, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, while participants watched videos of an actor, either blindfolded or not, performing emblems, request gestures, or meaningless control movements. A left-lateralized network was more activated by both types of communicative gestures than by meaningless movements, regardless of the accessibility of the actor's eyes. Strikingly, when eye contact was taken into account as a factor, a right-lateralized network was more strongly activated by emblematic gestures performed by the non-blindfolded actor than by those performed by the blindfolded actor. Such modulation possibly reflects the integration of information conveyed by the eyes with the representation of emblems. Conversely, a wider right-lateralized network was more strongly activated by request gestures performed by the blindfolded than by those performed by the non-blindfolded actor. This probably reflects the effect of the conflict between the observed action and its associated contextual information, in which relevant social cues are missing.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: communicative gestures; functional magnetic resonance imaging; gesture representation; social gaze; social intention
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2016 10:22
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:41

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