“Stop fidgeting,” said every parent ever. But should you really?
Several studies reveal that fidgeting actually has some benefits. But what compels people to twitch and tap, seemingly without control over their movement, in situations when they are called on to be still? Turns out, there is at least one biological explanation.
The same brain areas are involved in both movement and speech, explains Karen Pine, a professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire who researches gesturing. So it isn’t surprising that gestures are involved in preparing our thoughts for speech. “We move the hands more when we are trying to find a word during a tip-of-the-tongue moment,” she says.
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