Visual recognition of words learned with gestures induces motor resonance in the forearm muscles

Claudia Repetto, Brian Mathias, Otto Weichselbaum, Manuela Macedonia

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review


According to theories of Embodied Cognition, memory for words is related to sensorimotor experiences collected during learning. At a neural level, words encoded with self-performed gestures are represented in distributed sensorimotor networks that resonate during word recognition. Here, we ask whether muscles involved in gesture execution also resonate during word recognition. Native German speakers encoded words by reading them (baseline condition) or by reading them in tandem with picture observation, gesture observation, or gesture observation and execution. Surface electromyogram (EMG) activity from both arms was recorded during the word recognition task and responses were detected using eye-tracking. The recognition of words encoded with self-performed gestures coincided with an increase in arm muscle EMG activity compared to the recognition of words learned under other conditions. This finding suggests that sensorimotor networks resonate into the periphery and provides new evidence for a strongly embodied view of recognition memory.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)N/A-N/A
Numero di pagine16
RivistaScientific Reports
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • embodied language
  • gestures
  • language learning
  • motor resonance


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