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Welcome to Chicago, ISGS. It's been awhile!

For questions about the conference, please email

Gesture: From Description to Application. Scientific understanding emerges across multiple dimensions of explanation and the study of gesture is no exception. Gesture as a phenomenon brings together many different subfields of research. Gesture reveals cognitive processes, gesture is involved in social interaction, gesture plays an integral role in development and has key roles in educational processes. Gesture is relevant to linguistics, design (i.e., interaction design) and artificial intelligence (robotics). Gesture is based on and constrained by biological systems and is shaped by language and culture.


The overarching theme of ISGS 2022 is the study of gestures along four interacting dimensions: description, function, mechanism, and application.  Descriptions of gestures can constrain theories of mechanism and function, and this can be used to ground new applications. ISGS 2022 will provide a forum for researchers to interact, engage and enhance the study of gesture across multiple dimensions of explanation.


Description: What are the fundamental characteristics of gestures, and how are they related to other behaviors? The hand and body movements that accompany spontaneous communication are challenging to describe, as they complement linguistic representations and cannot be readily encapsulated by them. 

Mechanism: How are gestures produced and processed? Hand and body movements emerge out of a dynamic cognitive system engaged in complex social interaction.


Function: What do gestures do? Gestures serve a variety of functions, including emotional,  cognitive and social functions for both producers and observers of communication.


Application: How can we use our understanding of gesture to solve important problems? The rise of modern technology provides rich opportunities for exploring how gesture can address real-world problems both in naturalistic and technology-enhanced contexts. 


Therefore, we encourage research that informs along any or all each of these explanatory dimensions. We encourage all topics on bodily communication, studied in all settings and from all theoretical and disciplinary perspectives.

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