Hands and knowledge: Gesture as an epistemic engine in reminiscence therapy

Hiromichi Hosoma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


Conversation analyses have revealed that information imbalances between speakers and hearers are represented in their speech and drive the epistemic engine to equalize the imbalances. Considering multi-modal communication, however, information can also be conveyed by body movements and reveal the unspoken imbalances in detail. Group reminiscence therapy is used to treat elderly people who are developing dementia, but it is a conversation process in which the epistemic engine involves cultural differences among the participants. In the present study, detailed analyses of conversation during therapy showed that speakers can use gestures to show their epistemic status and the information imbalance between the participants; hearers can imitate the speaker's gestures to show their understanding in the conversational sequence; unspoken epistemic differences can be revealed by the difference between the gestures of the speaker and hearer; and other participants can observe the difference visually and update a gesture to point out the unspoken difference. I discuss the multi-modal structure of an epistemic engine in reminiscence therapy and its implications for the care given to dementia patients.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence - JSAI-isAI 2012 Workshops, LENLS, JURISIN, MiMI, Revised Selected Papers
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event4th JSAI International Symposia on Artificial Intelligence, JSAI-isAI 2012 - Miyazaki, Japan
Duration: 2012 Nov 302012 Dec 1

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume7856 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference4th JSAI International Symposia on Artificial Intelligence, JSAI-isAI 2012


  • body movement
  • dementia
  • gesture
  • the elederly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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