Thus, from a contemporary psychological perspective, talk is seen as a complex multichannel activity which involves the expression of thoughts and ideas through both language and expressive movement, and particularly through the expressive movements of the hands and arms (see McNeill 1992, 2000; Beattie 2003). These expressive movements are imagistic and iconic in form and closely temporally integrated with the speech itself. Ideas are jointly expressed through the speech and the movement (Beattie and Shovelton 1999a, 1999b, 2001, 2005) and this has led David McNeill to the startling conclusion that ‘To exclude the gesture side, as has been traditional, is tantamount to ignoring half of the message out of the brain’ (2000: 139).