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Tactile Gestures

In tactile communication, how do gestures differ from ordinary actions?

    Tactile gestures are transformations of purposeful actions so that they are no longer mechanically effective (i.e, they lack effective force to make a gorilla perform an action unless it understands and cooperates with the other gorilla).

Visual Attention:  In Kubie's gesturing to Zura, a low percentage of Kubie's tactile gestures were performed when he had Zura's visual attention.

Playface:  A low percentage of tactile gestures were performed with a playface. 

Motion:  In 66% of cases, Zura moved her body in the direction Kubie depicted in his tactile gesture.

Context:  Tactile gestures were used most frequently in the context of positioning Zura's body for bottom-checking or mating play.

click here for video examples

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Some examples:

  • a hand or arm moving down the recipients body (back, side or other location)

  • patting downward (on the head, back or bottom)

  • pushing the head down gently

  • a hand or arm moving across the recipient's waist or back, toward or away from the gesturer

  • lightly tapping, poking, or knocking on a body part (thigh, elbow) in a certain direction (down, away, up)

  • pushing away gently

  • holding, then releasing, a body part (arm, hand, foot) to stop motion

  • pulling gently on a body part (hand, foot), then releasing it, indicating motion toward the signaler

  • holding and shaking a body part, presumably to indicate movement is desired of the recipient

 

 

- Dr. Joanne Tanner

- Charles Ernest

 
 

Publications

 
 

SF Zoo Gorillas

 
 

Gorilla Gestures Intro

 
 

- Why Create Gestures

- Tactile

- Visual

- Audible

- Iconic

- Imitation

- Phrases/Exchanges

- Other Zoos

- Gesture Table

- Triadic Play Intro

- Triadic Play Research

 
     
       

Copyright 2010 Tanner and Ernest Productions. All rights reserved.