Articulatory constraints on interpersonal postural coordination

Kevin Shockley, Aimee A. Baker, Michael J. Richardson, Carol A. Fowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Citations (Scopus)


Cooperative conversation has been shown to foster interpersonal postural coordination. The authors investigated whether such coordination is mediated by the influence of articulation on postural sway. In Experiment 1, talkers produced words in synchrony or in alternation, as the authors varied speaking rate and word similarity. Greater shared postural activity was found for the faster speaking rate. In Experiment 2, the authors demonstrated that shared postural activity also increases when individuals speak the same words or speak words that have similar stress patterns. However, this increase in shared postural activity is present only when participants' data are compared with those of their partner, who was present during the task, but not when compared with the data of a member of a different pair speaking the same word sequences as those of the original partner. The authors' findings suggest that interpersonal postural coordination observed during conversation is mediated by convergent speaking patterns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-208
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • interpersonal coordination
  • postural control
  • recurrence analysis
  • speech


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