The Neurobiology of Gesture and Its Development Book Chapter

cited authors

  • Dick, AS; Broce, I

fiu authors


  • The study of gesture, which describes the hand and arm movements that speakers produce to communicate, has provided important information about the neurobiological organization of language. Specifically, the emerging literature on the neurobiology of gesture and its development suggests that to process gestures, listeners recruit the same brain regions of the ventral language stream involved in processing semantic information, and they also recruit regions of the dorsal language stream involved in processing sensorimotor information. Moreover, age-related changes in these brain regions are revealed when children view gestures compared with adults. Together, the literature on the neurobiology of gesture supports the notion that symbolic gesture and spoken language are each pillars within a single semiotic system, that they develop together in children, and that they share an overlapping neural substrate in the developing and adult brain.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 389

end page

  • 398