Personally I learned about the concept in this article:
Iverson, J. M. & Thelen, E. (1999). Hand, mouth and brain. The dynamic emergence of speech and gesture. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 6(11-12), pp. 19–40. (http://cspeech.ucd.ie/Fred/docs/IversonThelen.pdf)
This article seems quite apropos for the study of non-verbal communication -- indeed, it illustrates an originary link between non-verbal and verbal communication.
I'm finding the ideas from that article useful (at least at a metaphorical level) thinking about how to build AI systems that use language. I'd assert that this will really take off when we see that it's not just about text mining -- which would correspond to our verbal communication -- but also about automatic generation of code that uses the text (corresponding to non-verbal communication).
In the world of standard human communication, I noted an interesting partial correlate:
Emoji assist in a peculiarly modern task: conveying emotional nuance in short, online utterances. - http://www.wired.com/2016/04/the-science-of-emoji/
A short video of the classic case is below; I'd also note this wiki page, which describes another case of coupling between biological systems and their environment. Maybe this one helps explain why my sleep schedule is so weird!