Synchronization by the hand: the sight of gestures modulates low-frequency activity in brain responses to continuous speech

Emmanuel Biau*, Salvador Soto-Faraco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Web of Science)


During social interactions, speakers often produce spontaneous gestures to accompany their speech. These coordinated body movements convey communicative intentions, and modulate how listeners perceive the message in a subtle, but important way. In the present perspective, we put the focus on the role that congruent non-verbal information from beat gestures may play in the neural responses to speech. Whilst delta-theta oscillatory brain responses reflect the time-frequency structure of the speech signal, we argue that beat gestures promote phase resetting at relevant word onsets. This mechanism may facilitate the anticipation of associated acoustic cues relevant for prosodic/syllabic-based segmentation in speech perception. We report recently published data supporting this hypothesis, and discuss the potential of beats (and gestures in general) for further studies investigating continuous AV speech processing through low-frequency oscillations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • audiovisual speech
  • gestures
  • beats
  • low-frequency oscillations
  • EEG

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