Academy of Finland
Funding decision
Name Vainio, Martti
Organisation HY
Project title Cross-modal connections between speech communication, hand gestures and perception
Decision No. 265610
Decision date 13.12.2012
Funding period 01.01.2013 - 31.12.2016
Funding 485 091
WebFOCUS Report
Project description
The goal of the project was to provide evidence for the view that motor processes of mouth and hand actions are integrated, which in turn might have even contributed to the evolution of speech. Firstly, our TMS study revealed that producing meaningless articulatory gestures indeed excite motor activation of the hand representations responsible for executing grasp actions. In addition, our behavioural studies revealed that these interactions between articulation and grasping can be very specific; for example, those articulations that were produced by the tongue tip were associated with the precision grasp whereas articulations that were produced by tongue dorsum were associated with the power grasp. Our findings show for the first time that reaching and grasping are planned in the overlapping motor representations with certain articulatory gestures supporting the gestural theories of speech evolution.