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Welcome!

I'm a cognitive scientist studying how people communicate and think. My primary focus is visual forms of communication — including the gestures that speakers produce, the signs of sign language, and graphical representations like timelines. My projects have involved experiments in the lab, analyses of multimodal corpora, and fieldwork in Papua New Guinea and Mexico.

For more info, check out the rest of this site, see my CV, send me an email (kensy at uchicago.edu), or find me on Twitter: @kensycoop

 

News

May 2018 – Read my essay for Aeon about an old and still-intuitive idea: that gesture is a universal language.

February 2018 – Read my piece for The Conversation about pointing across cultures. 

January 2018 – Check out our newest paper on Yupno communication and cognition—'The preference for pointing with the hand is not universal'—recently published in Cognitive Science.

October 2017 – The Center for Gesture, Sign, and Language hosted a conference titled 'The Body's Role in Thinking, Performing, and Referencing.' I presented our work on pointing in gesture and sign. 

October 2017 – I presented at the University of Illinois developmental brownbag on 'Spatial analogies in communication and cognition.'

 

Popular writing

May 2018. From pointing to nodding: Is gesture a universal language? Aeon.

February 2018. The way humans point isn't as universal as you might thinkThe Conversation. 

May 2017. Making the rounds. Science.

November 2016. How we make sense of timeScientific American–Mind. (w/ Rafael Núñez)

October 2016. Framing the world in terms of “left” and “right” is stranger than you thinkNautilus (blog).

March 2016. Why natural selection became Darwin’s fittest metaphor for evolutionNautilus (blog).