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The NonVerbal Dictionary of Gestures, Signs & Body Language Cues

Efferent Cue


Attendez! Por ejemplo!! Place the fingers of your right hand extended. Distend the thumb of your right hand until it touches your nose. The little finger of your right hand is stretched venomously towards the world. You say nothing but you think much, and that is that. The gesture is made; and an ugly world is scoffed. --John D. Williams (1926:8; see below, The Shanghai gesture)


Neuro term1. A nonverbal sign sent, as opposed to one received (see AFFERENT CUE). 2. An outgoing sign produced, e.g., by a body movementclothing cueconsumer product, glandular secretion (e.g., apocrine odorsweaty palmstears), hair stylenonverbal vocalization (e.g., crylaugh, whine), posture, recipe (e.g., Big MacCoca-Colashrimp cocktail), or speech error.

Usage: Conceptually, efferent and afferent reflect the two sides of every nonverbal sign: (1) egress (as an out-bound cue to be produced) and (2) ingress (as an in-bound cue to be processed).

The Shanghai gesture. "The gesture [see epigraph above] is useful. It is comforting. It does something for you and to you, because the world cannot answer--in kind--if you make the gesture first" (Williams 1926:8).

Neuro-note: Efferent cues reflect a. inner thoughts (produced, e.g., in tandem with the speech areas), and b. inner workings of the nonverbal brain.

See also CUEINFORMATIONMESSAGING FEATURE.

YouTube Video: See how many nonverbal signs, signals, and cues you can see in "The Shanghai Gesture," an elegant 1941 motion picture.