Berlin Gesture Center in Kooperation mit dem Museum für Kommunikation Berlin

Introduction to the neuropsychological gesture classification. Workshop
Einführung in die neuropsychologische Gestenklassifikation. Workshop

July 12 – 13, 2007, Berlin. With Hedda Lausberg


The neuropsychological gesture classification (NGC) has been developed on the basis of gesture types which gesture researchers of different scientific disciplines had agreed on (e.g. Liepmann, 1907; Efron, 1941; Freedman, 1972; Ekman & Friesen, 1979; Davis, 1991; McNeill, 1992*).

The NGC consists of twenty-two gesture types that are defined by specific combinations of kinetic features including hand shape, hand position, path, efforts, planes, kinesphere, gesture space, involvement of body parts other than hands, and gaze. The objectivity of the gesture types is high (rater agreement Cohen’s κ .87). The theoretical assumption behind the NGC is that the gesture types represent different cognitive or emotional functions and thus, that they are generated in different locations in the brain. Further, it is assumed that specific brain lesions or mental diseases are associated with deficits in the conceptualization and execution of specific gesture types. The validity of the gesture types is examined with neuroscientific studies (split-brain studies and neuroimaging studies).

The NGC enables to classify gestures based on their kinetic features alone, i.e., without sound. As a behavioural method, the system can be used for a broad range of test designs ranging from the examination of spontaneous gesture production in everyday conversation to the structured elicitation of gestures by stimuli. Because of the broad spectrum of phenomena that can be coded, the high objectivity, and its adaptation to movement analysis software (e.g. ELAN), the NGC can be used for qualitative and quantitative research.

* Efron, David (1941/1972): Gesture, Race and Culture. The Hague: Mouton. McNeill, David: Hand and Mind: What Gestures Reveal about Thought. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.



Date & Time Schedules

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday, July 13, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.


Museum für Kommunikation Berlin, Leipziger Str. 16, 10117 Berlin

Contact & registration

Hedda Lausberg,