Gesture production patterns in aphasic discourse: In-depth description and preliminary predictions

Kazuki Sekine*, Miranda L. Rose, Abby M. Foster, Michelle C. Attard, Lucette E. Lanyon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Gesture frequently accompanies speech in healthy speakers. For many individuals with aphasia, gestures are a target of speech-language pathology intervention, either as an alternative form of communication or as a facilitative device for language restoration. The patterns of gesture production for people with aphasia and the participant variables that predict these patterns remain unclear.Aims: We aimed to examine gesture production during conversational discourse in a large sample of individuals with aphasia. We used a detailed gesture coding system to determine patterns of gesture production associated with specific aphasia types and severities.Methods & Procedures: We analysed conversation samples from AphasiaBank, gathered from 46 people with post-stroke aphasia and 10 healthy matched controls all of whom had gestured at least once during a story re-tell task. Twelve gesture types were coded. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the patterns of gesture production. Possible significant differences in production patterns according to aphasia type and severity were examined with a series of analyses of variance (ANOVA) statistics, and multiple regression analysis was used to examine these potential predictors of gesture production patterns.Outcomes & Results: Individuals with aphasia gestured significantly more frequently than healthy controls. Aphasia type and severity impacted significantly on gesture type in specific identified patterns detailed here, especially on the production of meaning-laden gestures.Conclusions: These patterns suggest the opportunity for gestures as targets of aphasia therapy. Aphasia fluency accounted for a greater degree of data variability than aphasia severity or naming skills. More work is required to delineate predictive factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1031-1049
Number of pages19
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sept
Externally publishedYes


  • Aphasia
  • Fluency
  • Gesture
  • Natural conversation
  • Severity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • LPN and LVN


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