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Military air marshallers use hand and body gestures to direct flight operations aboard aircraft carriers.

A gesture is a form of non-verbal communication or non-vocal communication in which visible bodily actions communicate particular messages, either in place of, or in conjunction with, speech. Gestures include movement of the hands, face, or other parts of the body. Gestures differ from physical non-verbal communication that does not communicate specific messages, such as purely expressive displays, proxemics, or displays of joint attention.<ref name=Kendon>Kendon, Adam. (2004) Gesture: Visible Action as Utterance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-83525-9</ref> Gestures allow individuals to communicate a variety of feelings and thoughts, from contempt and hostility to approval and affection, often together with body language in addition to words when they speak.

Gesture processing takes place in areas of the brain such as Broca's and Wernicke's areas, which are used by speech and sign language.<ref name="Xu">Xu J, Gannon PJ, Emmorey K, Smith JF, Braun AR. (2009). Symbolic gestures and spoken language are processed by a common neural system. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 106:20664–20669. doi:10.1073/pnas.0909197106 PMID 19923436</ref> In fact, language is thought by some scholars to have evolved in Homo sapiens from an earlier system consisting of manual gestures.<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> The theory that language evolved from manual gestures, termed Gestural Theory, dates back to the work of 18th-century philosopher and priest Abbé de Condillac, and has been revived by contemporary anthropologist Gordon W. Hewes, in 1973, as part of a discussion on the origin of language.<ref>Corballis, Michael. (January/February 2010). "The gestural origins of language." © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. WIREs Cogn Sci 2010 1 2–7</ref>


Gesture sections
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