Gesture in Chicago
A problematic area for Ian has been gesture. David McNeill, a world expert in the neuroscience of gesture, alerted to his case by philosopher Shaun Gallagher, invited Ian to Chicago to have his gestures analyzed. McNeill thinks gesture and speech are inseparable and that there is a thought–language–gesture system independent of other movement systems. If Ian’s gesture was intact when other movements were degraded this supported his theory. McNeill shows subjects a cartoon and then videos them recalling what happened and analyzes the accompanying gestures. Ian was essentially normal in the timing and shapes of gesture with language and also showed interdependence between speech and gesture. Other analysis, including that of Ian’s memory of gesture soon after he developed the neuronopathy, supported McNeill’s theory. Ian was unhappy with McNeill’s reductionist methods but was very impressed with the painstaking work of his team.
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