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www.GetPedia.com* More than 500,000 Interesting Articles waiting for you . * The Ebook starts from the next page : Enjoy ! * Say hello to my cat "Meme" TheTheNONVERBALDICTIONARYofGESTURES, SIGNS&BODY LANGUAGE CUESFrom Adam's-Apple-Jump to Zygomatic SmileBy David B. Givens© 2002(Spokane, Washington: Center for Nonverbal Studies Press)Items in this Dictionary have been researched by anthropologists, archaeologists,biologists, linguists, psychiatrists, psychologists, semioticians, and others who havestudied human communication from a scientific point of view. Every effort hasbeen made to cite their work in the text. Definitions, meanings, and interpretationsleft uncredited are those of the author. Gestures and consumer products withhttp://members.aol.com/nonverbal2/diction1.htm (1 of 2) [27/04/02 05:54:42]Thecurrent trademark registrations are identified with the ® symbol.Entries in The Dictionary.There have been many who, not knowing how to mingle the useful and the pleasing in theright proportions, have had all their toil and pains for nothing . . . --Cervantes (Don Quixote)Dedication"A masterful piece of work" --American Library Association"Highly recommended" --New Scientist"Very interesting reading" --The Houston Chronicle"Monumental" --Yahoo! Picks of the Week"Site of the Day Award" --WWW Virtual Library WWW Virtual Library "Best" Site© 2002 by David B. Givens, Ph.D.Center for Nonverbal Studieshttp://members.aol.com/nonverbal2/diction1.htm (2 of 2) [27/04/02 05:54:42]adajumADAM'S-APPLE-JUMPBody movement. 1. A conspicuous up-and-down motion of the Adam's apple. 2. A movement of the throat visible while gulping or swallowing, as in nervousness.Usage: The Adam's-apple-jump is an unconscious sign of emotional anxiety, embarrassment, or stress. At a business meeting, e.g., a listener's Adam's apple may inadvertently jump should he or she dislike or strongly disagree with a speaker's suggestion, perspective, or point of view.U.S. politics. The Adam's apple gained it's 15 minutes of fame when former Vice President James Danforth Quayle's thyroid cartilage "jumped" in the 1988 vice-presidential debates, as he listened to his opponent, Lloyd Bentsen's pointed claim: "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy!"RESEARCH REPORTS: 1. Swallowing "associates well with flight and submission" (Grant 1969:528). 2. Stimulating the emotionally sensitive amygdala can cause involuntary body movements "associated with olfaction and eating, such as licking, chewing, and swallowing" (Guyton 1996:758-59).Anatomy. Anxiety, social discomfort (e.g., embarrassment), and fear are often visible in unwitting, vertical movements of a projection at the front of the throat called the laryngeal prominence, where the http://members.aol.com/nonverbal2/adajum.htm (1 of 2) [27/04/02 05:54:44]adajumlargest (or thyroid) cartilage of the Adam's apple shows, prominently in men, but less noticeably in women.Neuro-notes. Acting through the vagus nerve (cranial X), emotional tension from the brain's limbic system causes unconscious muscular contractions of the sternothyroid, thyrohyoid, and associated inferior pharyngeal constrictor muscles of the Adam's apple. Movement is evident as the muscles contract to swallow, to throat-clear, or to vocalize an objection which may be left unsaid. The Adam's apple is emotionally responsive (i.e., reflects visceral or "gut" feelings) because its muscles are mediated by the vagus, which is one of five special visceral nerves.Synonym--Gulping. See also NECK DIMPLE, NECKWEAR, PALM-UP, SHOULDER-SHRUG.Copyright © 1998 - 2001 (David B. Givens/Center for Nonverbal Studies)Detail of illustration (copyright 1951 by Stephen R. Peck)http://members.aol.com/nonverbal2/adajum.htm (2 of 2) [27/04/02 05:54:44]bodymoveBODY MOVEMENTI have always tried to render inner feelings through the mobility of the muscles . . . --Auguste RodinAs an actor, Jimmy was tremendously sensitive, what they used to call an instrument. You could see through his feelings. His body was very graphic; it was almost writhing in pain sometimes. He was very twisted, almost like a cripple or a spastic of some kind. --Elia Kazan, commenting on actor James Dean (Dalton 1984:53)Concept. Any of several changes in the physical location, place, or position of the material parts of the human form (e.g., of the eyelids, hands, or shoulders).Usage: The nonverbal brain expresses itself through diverse motions of our body parts (see, e.g., BODY LANGUAGE, GESTURE). That body movement is central to our expressiveness is reflected in the ancient Indo-European root, meue- ("mobile"), for the English word, emotion.Anatomy. Our body consists of a jointed skeleton moved by muscles. Muscles also move our internal organs, the areas of skin around our face and neck, and our bodily hairs. (When we are frightened, e.g., stiff, tiny muscles stand our hairs on end.) The nonverbal brain gives voice to all its feelings, moods, and concepts through the contraction of muscles: without muscles to move its parts, our body would be nearly silent.http://members.aol.com/doder1/bodymov1.htm (1 of 2) [27/04/02 05:54:46]bodymoveAnthropology. Stricken with a progressive spinal-cord illness, the late anthropologist, Robert F. Murphy described his personal journey into paralysis in his last book, The Body Silent. As he lost muscle control, Murphy noticed "curious shifts and nuances" in his social world (e.g., students ". . . often would touch my arm or shoulder lightly when taking leave of me, something they never did in my walking days, and I found this pleasant" [Murphy 1987:126]).Confidence. "The physical confidence that he [Erik Weihenmayer, 33, the first blind climber to scale Mount Everest] projects has to do with having an athlete's awareness of how his body moves through space. Plenty of sighted people walk through life with less poise and grace than Erik, unsure of their steps, second-guessing every move" (Greenfeld 2001:57).Media. In movies of the 1950s, such as Monkey Business (1952) and Jailhouse Rock (1957), motions of the pelvic girdles of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley, respectively, had a powerful influence on American popular culture.Salesmanship. "Your walk, entering and exiting, should be brisk and businesslike, yes. But once you are in position, slow your arms and legs down" (Delmar 1984:48).RESEARCH REPORT: "A nonverbal act is defined as a movement within any single body area (head, face, shoulders, hands, or feet) or across multiple body areas, which has visual integrity and is visually distinct from another act" (Ekman and Friesen 1968:193-94).E-Commentary: "I am searching for the piece of influential advice that will help one of my employees to communicate in a positive way nonverbally. Her boredom and impatience are so evident. She shifts in her seat, rolls her eyes, and sighs during meetings. It is disturbing to her co-workers and bad for morale. I have explained to her it is not appropriate. She replies she can't hide the way she feels. On the other hand, she wants to keep her job. So what can I do to get through to her before she loses her job?" --T., USA (4/17/00 8:40:04 PM Pacific Daylight Time)Neuro-notes. Many nonverbal signals arise from ancient patterns of muscle contraction laid down hundreds of millions of years ago in paleocircuits of the spinal cord, brain stem, and forebrain. See also FACIAL EXPRESSION, INTENTION CUE, POSTURE.Copyright © 1998 - 2001 (David B. Givens/Center for Nonverbal Studies)Detail of photo by Heinz Kluetmeier (Soviet gymnasts; copyright 1980 by Heinz Kluetmeier)http://members.aol.com/doder1/bodymov1.htm (2 of 2) [27/04/02 05:54:46]handsHANDSHis hands are like antennae, gathering information as they flick outward, surveying the rock for cracks, grooves, bowls, nubbins, knobs, edges and ledges, converting all of it into a road map etched into his mind. --Karl Greenfeld (2001:60) on Erik Weihenmayer, 33, the first blind climber to scale Mount Everest (see below, Anatomy)His hands rose, fluttered like wounded birds a few inches above the surface of his desk, slowly came back to a landing. --George C. Chesbro, Shadow of a Broken Man (1977:40)Smart parts. 1. The terminal end organs below the forearms, used to grasp and gesture. 2. The most expressive parts of the human body.Usage: Their combined verbal and nonverbal IQs make hands our most expressive body parts. Hands have more to say even than faces, for not only do fingers show emotion, depict ideas, and point to butterflies on the wing--they can also read Braille, speak in sign languages, and write poetry. Our hands are such incredibly gifted communicators that they always bear watching.Observation. So connected are hands to our nervous system that we rarely keep them still. Indeed, the First Law of Nonverbal Dynamics would be, "A hand tends to stay in motion even while at rest." When a hand is not moving or handling an object, it is busy scratching, holding, or massaging its partner. This peculiar tendency of the digits to fuss and fidget intensified as our fingers became major tools used to explore and shape the material world. The more gifted they became, the more we waved them about as sensory feelers.Anatomy. Hands are the tactile antennae we throw out to assay our material world and palpate its moods. Most of the 20 kinds of nerve fiber in each hand fire off simultaneously, sending orders to muscles and http://members.aol.com/nonverbal2/hands.htm (1 of 3) [27/04/02 05:54:49]handsglands--or receiving tactile, motion, and position information from sense organs embedded in tendons, muscles, and skin (Amato 1992). With a total of 100 bones, muscles, joints, and types of nerve, our hand is uniquely crafted to shape thousands of signs. Watching a hand move is rather like peering into the brain itself.Cave art. Stenciled images of human hands are "common" and "sometimes dominate" areas of Ice-Age caves (dating to between 35,000 and 20,000 years ago; Scarre 1993:59). In France's Gargas cave, hands are depicted with missing fingers or finger segments. "It is unclear whether the joints had actually been lost through frostbite or some other condition, or whether the fingers were bent in some kind of signaling system" (Scarre 1993:59; see below, Neuro-notes II). Evolution. The 27 bones, 33 muscles and 20 joints of our hand originated ca. 400 m.y.a. from the lobe fins of early fishes known as rhipidistians. Primeval "swim fins" helped our aquatic ancestors paddle through Devonian seas in search of food and mates. In amphibians, forelimbs evolved as weight-bearing platforms for walking on land. In primates, hands were singled out for upgrade as tactile antennae or "feelers." Today (unlike flippers, claws, and hooves), fingers link to intellectual modules and emotion centers of the brain. Not only can we thread a needle, e.g., we can also pantomime the act of threading with our fingertips (see MIME CUE)--or reward a child's successful threading with a gentle pat. There is no better organ than a hand for gauging unspoken thoughts, attitudes, and moods.Embryology. Hands are visible as fleshy paddles on limb buds of the human fetus until the 6th week of life, when digital rays form separate fingers through a process of programmed cell death. Soon after, hands and arms make coordinated paddling movements in mother's amniotic fluid. Placed in water shortly after birth, babies can swim, as paleocircuits of the aquatic brain & spinal cord prompt newborns to kick with their feet and paddle with their hands.Infancy. Babies are born with the primate ability to grasp objects tightly in a climbing-related power grip. Later, they instinctively reach for items placed in front of them. Between 1-1/2 and 3 months, reflexive grasping is replaced by an ability to hold-on by choice. Voluntary reaching appears during the 4th and 5th months of age, and coordinated sequences of reaching, grasping, and handling objects are seen by 3-to-6 months, as fingertips and palms explore the textures, shapes, warmth, wetness, and dryness of Nonverbal World (Chase and Rubin 1979).Early signs. By 5 months, as a prelude to more expressive mime cues, babies posture with arms and hands as if anticipating the size and hardness (or softness) of objects in their reach space (Chase and Rubin 1979). Between 6 and 9 months, infants learn to grasp food items between the thumbs and outer sides of their index fingers, in an apelike precursor of the precision grip. At this time, babies also pull, pound, rub, shake, push, twist, and creatively manipulate objects to determine their "look and feel" (Chase and Rubin 1979).Later signs. Eventually, a baby's hands experiment not only with objects themselves but with component http://members.aol.com/nonverbal2/hands.htm (2 of 3) [27/04/02 05:54:49]handsparts, as if curious to learn more about relationships and about how things fit together (Chase and Rubin 1979). At one year, infants grasp objects between the tactile pads of thumb and index fingers, in a mature, distinctively human precision grip. Pointing with an extended index finger also begins at 12 months, as babies use the cue to refer to novel sights and sounds--and speak their first words.Neuro-notes I. Our brain devotes an unusually large part of its surface area to hands and fingers (see HOMUNCULUS). In the mind's eye, as a result a. of the generous space they occupy on the sensory and motor strips of our neocortex, and b. of the older paleocircuits linking them to emotional and grooming centers of the mammalian brain, al