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J Gen Psychol. 2002 Apr;129(2):137-47.

The effects of hand gestures on verbal recall as a function of high- and low-verbal-skill levels.

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Department of Psychology, Lees McCrae College, Banner Elk, NC 28604, USA.


The author examined the effects of cueing for verbal recall with the accompanying self-generated hand gestures as a function of verbal skill. There were 36 participants, half with low SAT verbal scores and half with high SAT verbal scores. Half of the participants of each verbal-skill level were cued for recall with their own gestures, and the remaining half was given a free-recall test. Cueing with self-generated gestures aided the low-verbal-skill participants so that their retrieval rate equaled that of the high-verbal-skill participants and their loss of recall over a 2-week period was minimal. This effect was stable for both concrete and abstract words. The findings support the hypothesis that gestures serve as an auxiliary code for memory retrieval.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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