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NATIONAL CHILDREN'S FOLKSONG REPOSITORY Explains How gestures, hand clapping and hooting led to social bonding.

Hand clapping and hooting is one of the last vestiges of gestures used as evolution propelled us towards a species that became a group to use speech / language.

The human electrical system circulates in a clockwise manner. That's why you can tell a group of children to "walk" and the group automatically starts walking in a circle going clockwise. Tweekers get their electrical system running backwards. Do not let tweekers near the electronics!
The conducting system provides the heart its automatic rhythmic beat. For the heart to pump efficiently and the systemic and pulmonary circulations to operate in synchrony, the events in the cardiac cycle must be coordinated.




8.21.14 Both signers and speakers who use hand gestures benefit from improved learning. Spontaneous gesture can help children learn, whether they use a spoken language or sign language, according to a new report. Gesture plays a role in learning for signers even though it is in the same modality as sign. As a result, gesture cannot aid learners simply by providing a second modality. Rather, gesture adds imagery to the categorical distinctions that form the core of both spoken and sign languages. Goldin-Meadow concludes that gesture can be the basis for a self-made language, assuming linguistic forms and functions when other vehicles are not available. But when a conventional spoken or sign language is present, gesture works along with language, helping to promote learning.

Avian Einsteins
was now


"Gesture, for example - the nongramatical expressive movements we all make [shrugging shoulders, waving good-bye, brandishing a fist, etc]. Humans are not the only animal to with language.


New insight into how children learn math 3/26/2014
Teaching maths using abstract gestures is a good way to help children learn, research suggests. Eight-year-olds gained a deeper understanding of mathematical principles by using their hands as well as their brains, say US psychologists. Children were taught to solve formulae such as: "4 + 2 + 6 = _ + 6" by making a V-point beneath the numbers to be added, then pointing at the blank. The actions helped in generalisation. Previous studies have shown that gesture helps learning. Psychologists think that when children move and make gestures, they are able to express ideas physically, which helps the learning process. However, the latest research goes further, suggesting abstract gesture may be a more effective teaching tool than manipulating and touching objects.
"Our study found that encouraging children to move, and encouraging them to gesture, more specifically, helps them learn an idea, but in addition helps them generalise that idea," said Miriam Novack, of the department of psychology at the University of Chicago. "In contrast children who were encouraged to move and manipulate objects fixated too much on those objects and got too focused on the surface features of the problem." In the experiment, the psychologists taught almost 100 children aged eight and nine a strategy for solving a simple sum.
"In contrast children who were encouraged to move and manipulate objects fixated too much on those objects and got too focused on the surface features of the problem." In the experiment, the psychologists taught almost 100 children aged eight and nine a strategy for solving a simple sum. In one group, children picked up magnetic number tiles and placed them within the formula on a magnetic whiteboard Another group mimed that action without actually touching the tiles A third group was taught to use abstract V-point gestures with their hands to group numbers and solve the equations. They then tested the students on similar problems to see how well they understood the underlying principles. Symbolic interpretation Only the children who had gestured during the lesson were successful in solving problems that required them to generalise. Co-researcher Eliza Congdon said the traditional wisdom was that directly interacting with objects was beneficial in teaching. "What's surprising about our study is that we showed that actually gesture which is a subcategory of movement that doesn't interact directly with objects might be even better in some cases for learning, and potentially for learning abstract concepts like mathematics," she said. Lead author Susan Goldin-Meadow said the findings provided the first evidence that gesture not only supported learning a task at hand but, more importantly, led to generalisation beyond the task. "Children appear to learn underlying principles from their actions only insofar as those actions can be interpreted symbolically," she said.


Indigenous Folksong Reading CurriculumMUSIC IS LANGUAGE



The Indigenous Folksong Reading Curriculum and Interdisciplinary Thematic Unit, teach reading and vocabulary development using right brain strategies



Gestures are country independent

Language evolves and changes with children, and gesture is an integral part of language. All aboriginal people knew the hand as the beginning of language because hands represents the function of differentiating self from other, inside from outside. These gestures are leftover from our preverbal days and keep our group in sync, like grooming, promotes socialization.

Language evolves and changes with children, and gesture is an integral part of language.
Some researchers have speculated that language evolved first in the form of a system of gestures, with sound taking over only later as the preferred channel of communication. Evidence that gesture is still deeply embedded in language can be seen in the fact that people gesticulate even when on the phone.
The New York Times > Science > A New Language Arises, and Scientists Watch It Evolve 1/2/05

Tactile Languages
Amer-Ind Gestural Code Based on Universal American Indian hand gestures. Language is gesturally based, or an extension of gestural code and not a language in the sense of that used by humans.

Baby Sign Language

Brain scans reveal the basis of language
Bellugi demonstrated that signing is a true language controlled by the right hemisphere of the brain, the hemisphere involved in spoken language, rather than by the left hemisphere, the side associated with spatial skills.


The 2 areas that control your mouth and your hands are next to each other in the brain. Since all humans are synesthetic to some extent there is no wonder that hands mimic and empasize words - how many of us talk with our hands! HAND JIVE



"The claim that humans are unlike any other animals is hard to dispute. But was the index finger one key factor in forging that distinctiveness? The evolution of human consciousness must have occurred hand in handwith the development of increasingly sophisticated pointing. If humans were to use their innate ability to communicate, they would have needed a function such as pointing and, conversely,pointing would have helped to enhance that ability." Just how essential pointing is to humans is demonstrated in infants, who point before they talk. That suggests to Tallis that as pointing and communicating ratcheted each other up as functions of everyday hominid life, language and culture could begin to develop. From pointing at, humans moved to pointing out: It became possible to communicate abstract thought about such things as possibility, significance, and meaning. In that sense, Tallis suggests, pointing
at and pointing out amounted to "a fundamental precursor to human discourse, to our peculiar mode of being-together; to our communities." ~Raymond Tallis

The origin of language. Communication evolved hand-in-hand with social bonding.
"The work tells us that communication is right there at the base of social behaviour and that having a larger vocal repertoire allows you to have a more complex social set up," says Karen McComb, at the University of Sussex, UK. We also know that it is the motor and sensory cortex for the hand which humans adapt to control speech. Broca's region and Werneke's regions are there.

The Fine Art of Italian Hand Gestures: A Vintage Visual Dictionary by Bruno Munari
by Maria Popova
A pocket guide to Neapolitan nonverbal communication.

LINGUISTIC INTELLEGENCE is associated with the auditory sense, and is not closely tied to the world of objects or other people. It is the most widely and democratically shared across humans, and is the most thoroughly studied intelligence.

Frank Wilson, MD Neurologist,
Professor Emeritus Stanford University Neurologist, expert on the co-evolution of the hand and the brain with emphasis on play as it relates to the origins of human language problem solving . Author of “The Hand”. In-depth interests in applying contemporary science to educational policy.

The Evolution of Hand Gestures: Why Do Some Die Out and Others Endure?
Gestures can generally be sorted into two categories, according to Spencer Kelly, an associate professor of psychology at Colgate University. “Co-speech gestures” are the idiosyncratic, often unconscious ways we move our hands as we talk. Researchers believe these gestures help us think and speak and even learn. “Emblematic gestures” are the culturally codified motions that we use to supplement or substitute speech—the peace sign, the thumbs-up, the raised middle finger. Some of these gestures are symbolic, and some, as in the case of thumb-texting, are imitative.
As with words, we tend to pick up our hand movements from the groups with whom we communicate most frequently—especially our peers. If your friends are thumb-texting at you, you will thumb-text back at them. Soon enough, Kelly says, “the movement of your thumbs can be done without speech, and people know what it is. That’s the definition of an emblem.”
Some emblems are recycled, their meanings changing as cultures evolve. In the bleachers of Roman arenas, the thumbs-up was a sign to kill the gladiator (a thumb pressed on top of a closed fist meant save his life). Anthony Corbeill, a professor of classics at the University of Kansas and the author of Nature Embodied: Gesture in Ancient Rome, suspects that the current American connotation of the gesture developed during the 20th century, when GIs used the thumbs-up to signify that a plane was cleared for takeoff. Other emblems are coined afresh, the result of ubiquitous new technology or the quirks of a public figure. The fist bump, which went viral after Barack and Michelle Obama were photographed in action in 2008, can be traced to the germophobic mid-20th-century baseball player Stan Musial, who is said to have preferred it to the high five.
There’s also the mind-blowing twist that the more advanced our technology becomes, the less we have to move at all—a futuristic reality, signs of which we’re beginning to see with the rise of voice-recognition software. Does this mean that gestures might one day become obsolete? “If the computer can track your eye gaze and know what you’re looking at, you don’t need to make a gesture,” says Jason Riggle, an assistant linguistics professor at the University of Chicago.
Of course, if the primary purpose of gesturing is to help us think, we’ll continue to wave our hands even as we talk to Siri. And as long as the meaning of an emblematic gesture is relevant, the physical antecedent of that gesture may be less so.

Evolution of Speech



The new study is the first to connect gesture, vocabulary and school preparedness. Some of the robust differences in child vocabulary development at 54 months are likely to come from parents in higher-income groups using gesture to communicate more different meanings when their children were 14 months, the paper said. The researchers found an income gap with gesturing even in toddlerhood, when children speak few words.

KiKi and Booba According to Wolfgang Köhler's "booba/kiki effect" study, 95% to 98% of people choose "kiki" for the sharp, angular shape and "booba" (or "bouba") for the soft, rounded shape. Research shows that sense is synesthetic, this kiki-booba in fingerspelling suggests that perception is synesthetic and language is intermodal.

Ramachandran directs the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California at San Diego. Hearing Colors, Tasting Shapes - Ramachandran, V.S. and Hubbard Ed (2003), Scientific American, Vol 288 Issue 5 (May 2003), 42-49.

Children Learn by Monkey See, Monkey Do. Chimps Don't  Mr. Lyons sees his results as evidence that humans are hard-wired to learn by imitation, even when that is clearly not the best way to learn

Talking in Tongues.


Evolutionary Language Kanzi and Koko

Brain Asymmetries in Chimps Resemble Those of Humans 12/6/04  Full Text at Scientific American <>

The Brains of chimpanzees show a number of similarities to those of humans
Findings published in the December issue of Behavioral Neuroscience indicate that the animals have differences between the right and left sides of their brains in much the same way that humans do. In addition, it appears that the neurological basis for handedness is not unique to our species. Hani D. Freeman of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and his colleagues scanned the brains of 60 chimpanzees with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and measured two key regions of the brain's limbic system, the hippocampus and the amygdala. They found that the hippocampus, important to learning and spatial memory among other things, was asymmetrical -- the right half was significantly larger than the left. What is more, the difference was larger for males than it was for females. The amygdala, on the other hand, showed no difference in size between the left and right halves of the brain. Both of these patterns also characterize human brains. "The limbic system asymmetries advance the position that asymmetries are fundamental aspects of the nervous system of all primates, and apply to more primitive systems in the brain," remarks study co-author William Hopkins of Berry College and Yerkes National Primate Research Center. Hopkins was also a co-author of a second paper that investigated hand preference in chimps. The researchers observed 66 animals and correlated brain anatomy with three measures of handedness: reaching, feeding and fishing peanut butter out of a tube. They found that the chimps' hand preference was related to asymmetries in two brain regions associated with motor tasks, the planum temporale and the precentral gyrus. The results, the authors write, "suggest that the neurobiological basis for handedness evolved as early as five million years ago and emerged independent of systems associated with language and speech." --Sarah Graham

Among Chimps and Bonobos, the Hand Often Does the Talking
Gesture seems so integral a part of human communication that some researchers have wondered if language began as a system of signs and switched over to speech later in human evolutionary history. Gesture, after all, is certainly capable of supporting full-fledged language, as is shown by the existence of sign languages.
So it is of interest that chimpanzees and bonobos also make liberal use of gestures in addition to the sounds and facial expressions that are part of their communication system.
Writing in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online Monday, Amy S. Pollick and Frans B. M. de Waal of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center report that the two species use gestures in a much more flexible way than facial or vocal signals.
A scream always means that someone is under threat or attack. But the gesture of stretching out an open hand depends on context. In a fight, it is used as a call for help to a third party. But it may also be used toward a chimp with food to suggest that a modicum of sharing would be appropriate.
With one exception, hand gestures are not seen in monkeys, Dr. de Waal said, suggesting that they are a more recent evolutionary development than other components of communication like sounds and expressions and could more easily be co-opted into a symbolic system. The versatility of the 31 hand gestures seen among chimpanzees and bonobos makes gesture a serious candidate modality to have acquired symbolic meaning in early human ancestors, the researchers write.
Bonobos, which became a separate species from chimpanzees 2.5 million years ago, seem to make special use of hand gestures that elicit a response from other bonobos much more often when included in the mix of sounds and expressions.
The openness of the hand-gesture system among chimps and bonobos is consistent with the idea that the early hominid communications system was gesture based and that vocal communication came later, said William Hopkins, a Yerkes researcher not involved in the study. The speech system is a very recent adaptation in hominids.
Marc D. Hauser, an expert on animal communication at Harvard, said the work on hand gestures was interesting but in his view had nothing to do with language.
At some point in primate evolution, he said, those parts of the body became usable in systems of communication, and we inherited some aspects of that, as did chimps. But we are not licensed to make any connections with language. The human use of gestures, he added, is not linguistic but to enhance language.


When you read action verbs like ‘jump’ or ‘run,’ blood rushes to the motor cortex, the part of your brain that controls movement. People who lose language abilities due to brain injury lose the corresponding gestures too. In one study, researchers temporarily blocked parts of the motor cortex in people with epilepsy, and found that they suddenly couldn’t speak. Some scientists believe that language comes from gesture. The hand gestures used by the earliest humans may have led to more complicated sequences that became the first grammar.
Understanding this link can be helpful when learning a new language. Language teachers find that when they force their kids to do dance moves as they recite vocab, the words seem to stick better.


Chimp girls dig tool thing; guys just want to have fun
By William Mullen, Chicago Tribune staff reporter Copyright © 2004, Chicago Tribune
April 15, 2004,1,610236.story
While little girl chimpanzees in the African wild stick close to their moms and learn useful, everyday tasks, like how to fish tasty termites out of the earth, little boy chimps don't pay much attention at all, being too busy romping, playing and being nuisances.
Such differences in girl versus boy behavior might not surprise human parents, but those observations on wild chimp kids, made by the Lincoln Park Zoo's new director of field conservation, rated an article published Thursday in the British research journal Nature.
Since 1998, Elizabeth Vinson Lonsdorf has spent several months a year in Tanzania's Gombe National Park studying how young chimps learned to use sticks, straw or grass to "fish" for food in giant termite mounds.
The subjects of her research are the offspring of the chimp clans made famous by Jane Goodall's path-breaking discovery 40 years ago that man is not the only species to use tools.
All of the 14 chimp kids Lonsdorf studied, each 11 years old or younger, learned the fishing technique by watching how their mothers would insert a tool into holes in the termite mounds. If it is done correctly, termites will climb onto the spear, making for a delicious snack after the chimp pulls the spear out.
"Our findings indicate that female chimpanzees start to fish for termites at a younger age than males," wrote Lonsdorf, the Nature article's principal author, and "they are more proficient than males once they acquired the skill."
-- Snacking on termites
The girls, she said, typically spent much of their childhood close to their mother's side. When they went to a termite mound to snack, the girls carefully watched how mom inserts a stalk and learned to mimic her technique just so, including precisely how far to spear into the mound.
The male chimp offspring also follow their mothers to the mounds, said Lonsdorf, but they typically go off to play and don't learn the finer details of fishing. "They are swinging in the trees, tumbling on the ground and doing somersaults or jumping on their moms, trying to get them to join in the play," she said.
Genetically, no other animals are closer to humans than chimpanzees, which share 98.6 percent of the same DNA. Similar findings in learning differences in human children could mean, Lonsdorf said, that a "sex-based learning difference may therefore date back at least to the last common ancestor of chimpanzees and humans."
Research in Holland has shown that, among young human children, girls begin drawing earlier than boys and are better at it, while boys 2 to 5 years old are better than girls at performing tasks requiring speed and strength. "We know with human children that girls at an early age have superior fine motor skills," said Susan Levine, a University of Chicago child psychologist."They are better at manipulating objects with their hands, and they learn to say first words a little earlier. The parts of the brain that control hand movement and speech sounds are very close together."
Long-term research on great ape populations like the Gombe chimps has drawn increasing interest from scientists struggling to understand the origins of human behavior. Ape behavior offers a sort of window into human primal behavior, with chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans having life expectancies and life stages roughly similar to those of humans, as well as being part of complex social groups.
-- Apes have long childhoods
Like humans, chimpanzees have a long childhood, said Dario Maestripieri, an associate professor on the University of Chicago's committee on human development. Though chimp fathers don't play a role in rearing offspring, chimp youngsters remain dependent on the care of their mothers until they are old enough to go off on their own, well after age 11.
"It is important to document sex differences in learning in chimpanzees," said Maestripieri, a primatologist who is familiar with Lonsdorf's research. "It has never been done before with great apes."
In the 1960s Goodall astonished the world with the revelation that she had watched chimps adapt objects from nature as tools to catch termites. They select small, slender tree branches and strip the bark, pull appropriately long and strong reeds of grass or make slender strips from palm fronds to stick into termite holes.
"While the moms are fishing for termites the kids ... interact with tools left behind by others at the mound, most likely ones dropped by their moms," Lonsdorf said. The kid jumps up and inspects it, and chews on it. That's their first interaction with tools."
The chimp mothers at Gombe are not active teachers, she said, but simply allow their offspring to watch closely how things are done.
Lonsdorf, 29, received her PhD last year from the University of Minnesota's Department of Ecology. Her academic adviser, a co-author of the Nature article, was Anne Pusey, director for research for the university's Jane Goodall Institute Center for Primate Studies, which holds all the data amassed by Goodall and others from 44 years of chimp research at Gombe.
Hired by the zoo last year to establish its field research department, Lonsdorf already is making plans to use zoo resources in Gombe, where the famous chimp colonies are shrinking in number and seem to suffer from little-understood diseases.
The illnesses resemble the common cold, pneumonia and other respiratory ailments, she said.


Research Report: Handedness, hemispheric asymmetries, and joke comprehension
by Seana Coulson and Christopher Lovett Manuscript accepted 12 November 2003;
Cognitive Brain Research, 2004, 19:3:275-288 <

To address the impact of differences in language lateralization on joke comprehension, event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded as 16 left- and 16 right-handed adults read one-line jokes and non-funny...
-- Abstract
To address the impact of differences in language lateralization on joke comprehension, event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded as 16 left- and 16 right-handed adults read one-line jokes and non-funny control stimuli (''A replacement player hit a home run with my girl/ball,''). In right-handers, jokes elicited a late positivity 500-900 ms post-stimulus onset that was largest over right hemisphere (RH) centro-parietal electrode sites, and a slow sustained negativity over anterior left lateral sites. In left-handers, jokes elicited a late positivity 500-900 ms post-onset that was larger and more broadly distributed than in the right-handers' ERPs. In right-handed women, the late positivity was larger over RH electrode sites. In left-handed women, the late positivity was bilaterally symmetric. The highly asymmetric slow sustained negativity over left anterior electrode sites was absent from left-handers' ERPs to jokes. Differences may reflect more efficient inter-hemispheric communication in the left-handers, as they are reputed to have relatively larger corpus callosal areas than right-handers. Results support the portrait of more bilateral language representation among left-handers, and suggest language lateralization affects high-level language comprehension tasks such as joke comprehension.



McGill University psychologist Laura Ann Petitto, PhD, who studies language acquisition

Hand-me-down skills
Compelling data from brain imaging studies link hand movements and language, indicating that modern-day language may have evolved from early hand use.

"This kind of theory is much more satisfying" than the more traditional idea that language developed specially in humans, says Michael Arbib, PhD, director of the University of Southern California Brain Project. "You don't have the grammar built in. Rather you have a normal set of abilities, evolved from more basic abilities in our prelinguistic ancestors, that allow us to learn grammar." Linking gesture and speech
Linking gesture and speech
Key to the connection between hand movements and language is the argument that our ancestors developed a mechanism for observing another's actions and comprehending at an abstract level the meaning of those actions. Some of the most compelling data linking the hands and language come from combining monkey neurophysiology with human brain imaging studies. In particular, Giacomo Rizzolatti, PhD, and his colleagues at the Institute of Human Physiology of the University of Parma used cell recordings to find what they call "mirror neurons" in the F5 area of the monkey brain. This area sends signals to the monkey's motor cortex, which coordinates movements. The mirror neurons fire when monkeys grasp objects with their hands and when they merely watch researchers make their own meaningful hand movements, such as placing objects on a table, grasping food or manipulating objects. This finding provides a connection between "doing" and "communicating about doing," says Arbib, who has worked with Rizzolatti to formulate a hypothesis about how language may have evolved from hand movements. The mirror neurons appear to represent a system that matches action to observation of action, enabling monkeys to guide their own actions and to comprehend the actions of other monkeys.


The Brain Knows The Difference: two types of grammatical violations
Angela D. Friederici and Martin Meyer
Brain Research 2004, 1000:72-77
The brain has been shown to honor the fundamental linguistic difference between semantic and syntactic information. Here we demonstrate that it even further indicates the necessity to distinguish between two differential syntactic processes: that is to say between the processing of phrase structure information necessary to build up syntactic structures on-line and verb argument structure information crucial to build up representations of who is doing what to whom. The former process is reflected in the event-related brain potentials (ERPs) as an anterior negativity followed by a late centro-parietal positivity, whereas the latter process is reflected as a centro-parietal negativity-positivity pattern. The different ERP patterns clearly suggest that the theoretically assumed difference between local syntactic structure building and argument structure processing is neurophysiologically real.
-- Introduction
Sentence comprehension requires the on-line processing of different kinds of linguistic information available in inflowing language; namely building up a phonological representation and decoding syntactic, lexical, semantic, and pragmatic cues. At least, these various information types have to be integrated to achieve a proper sentence interpretation. Grammatical violations and semantic incongruencies cause problems in accomplishing sentence comprehension (parsing) and sometimes even require a revision of the sentence structure, sentence meaning, or the relation between these levels of linguistic analysis.

When do People Learn Languages?
My concern here is to look at what linguistics can tell us about why and when people learn a language. (Summary: It's not easy, so they'll try not to.) I'll also cover the subsidiary questions that usually interest folks more: How can I learn a language? and, How can I make other people learn this language?

Emergence of rhythm during motor learning
Katsuyuki Sakaia, Okihide Hikosakab and Kae Nakamurab a Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
Laboratory of Sensorimotor Research, National Eye Institute, NIH, Building 49, Room 2A50, Bethesda Maryland 20892, USA
Complex motor skill often consists of a fixed sequence of movements. Recent studies show that a stereotyped temporal pattern or rhythm emerges as we learn to perform a motor sequence. This is because the sequence is reorganized during learning as serial chunks of movements in both a sequence- specific and subject-specific manner. On the basis of human imaging studies we propose that the formation of chunk patterns is controlled by the cerebellum, its posterior and anterior lobes contributing, respectively, to the temporal patterns before and after chunk formation. The motor rhythm can assist the motor networks in the cerebral cortex to control automatic movements within chunks and the cognitive networks to control non-automatic movements between chunks, respectively. In this way, organized motor skill can be performed automatically and flexibly.