WHAT is The Near-Sighted Monkey reading today? She is reading about hand gestures and thinking and story-telling,
"If five gears are arranged in a line, and you move the first gear clockwise, what will the final gear do?"
The Near-Sighted Monkey couldn’t answer this question without moving her hands. Why?
WANT TO SOLVE A PROBLEM? DON’T JUST USE YOUR BRAIN, BUT YOUR BODY TOO.
"Being able to use your body in problem solving alters the way you solve the problems," says University of Wisconsin psychology professor Martha Alibali. "Body movements are one of the resources we bring to cognitive processes."(Continue reading….)
HAND GESTURES LINKED TO BETTER SPEAKING
Dr. Elena Nicoladis and her research colleagues observed the hand gestures of bilingual children as they told the same story twice, first in one language and then the other. The researchers were surprised by what they saw.
"The children used gestures a lot more when telling the story in what they considered to be their stronger language," said Nicoladis, a psychologist at the U of A. "These results seemed counter-intuitive to us. We thought the children would be more inclined to use gestures to help them communicate in their weaker language."
Based on these results and the results of earlier studies, Nicoladis believes there is a connection between language and memory access and gesturing.
"What we think is going on here," Nicoladis said, "is that the very fact of moving your hands around helps you recall parts of the story—the gestures help you access memory and language so that you can tell more of the story."
"Initially, we thought gestures were related to meaning—that they meant something on their own. But now we believe they are more related to language," she added. (Continue reading…)
A pair of Beckman Institute researchers has discovered that by directing the eye movements of test subjects they were able to affect the participants’ ability to solve a problem, demonstrating that eye movement is not just a function of cognition but can actually affect our cognitive processes. (Continue reading…..)
Swinging their arms helped participants in a new study solve a problem whose solution involved swinging strings, researchers report, demonstrating that the brain can use bodily cues to help understand and solve complex problems.
The study is the first to show that a person’s ability to solve a problem can be influenced by how he or she moves. (Continue reading….)
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