Representational Gesture, Pointing Gesture, and Memory Recall of Preschool Children

Hilary Cameron, Xu Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This study investigated the effects of two different types of hand gestures on memory recall of preschool children. Experiment 1 found that children who were instructed to use representational gestures while retelling an unfamiliar story retrieved more information about the story than children who were asked to hold their hands still. In addition, children who engaged in some forms of bodily movements other than hand gestures also recalled better. Experiment 2 showed that a simpler and more basic form of gesture, the pointing gesture, had a similar effect on recollecting and retelling the details of a story. The findings provide evidence for the beneficial effects of hand gestures, both representational gestures and pointing gestures, on cognitive processes such as memory retrieval and verbal communication for preschool aged children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-171
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Nonverbal Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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