Conversational metacognition

In Ipke Wachsmuth, Manuela Lenzen & Günther Knoblich (eds.), Embodied Communication in Humans and Machines. Oxford University Press. pp. 329 (2008)
Authors
Joëlle Proust
Institut Jean Nicod
Abstract
This chapter aims to relate two fields of research that have been rarely – if ever – associated, namely embodied communication and metacognition. Exploring this relationship offers a new perspective for understanding the relationship between self-knowledge and mindreading. "Embodied communication" refers to the process of conveying information to one or several interlocutors through speech and associated bodily gestures, or through gestures only. It is prima facie plausible that embodied communication crucially involves metacognitive interventions. Let the term ‘conversational metacognition’ refer to the set of abilities that allow an embodied speaker to make available to others and to receive from them specific markers concerning his/her "conversing adequacy". The hypothesis explored is that embodied communication in humans involve metacognitive gestures. Examples are offered from manual gesturing and from orofacial expressions. A final discussion examines the respective roles of altruistic and Machiavellian pressures in conversational metacognition.
Keywords Metacognition  Embodied communication  Conversational gestures
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