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The effects of iconic gestures and eye contact on message retention in human-robot interaction were investigated in a series of experiments. A humanoid robot gave short verbal messages to participants, accompanied either by iconic gestures or no gestures while making eye contact with the participant or looking away. Results show that the use of iconic gestures aids retention of the verb to which the action-depicting gestures pertain. The various expected effects of eye contact were not supported by the data. Implications of these results for the design of interaction modalities between robots and people are discussed.