The cortical signature of impaired gesturing: Findings from schizophrenia.

Viher, Petra; Stegmayer, Katharina; Kubicki, Marek; Karmacharya, Sarina; Lyall, Amanda Ellis; Federspiel, Andrea; Vanbellingen, Tim; Bohlhalter, Stephan; Wiest, Roland; Strik, Werner; Walther, Sebastian (2018). The cortical signature of impaired gesturing: Findings from schizophrenia. NeuroImage: Clinical, 17, pp. 213-221. Elsevier 10.1016/j.nicl.2017.10.017

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Schizophrenia is characterized by deficits in gesturing that is important for nonverbal communication. Research in healthy participants and brain-damaged patients revealed a left-lateralized fronto-parieto-temporal network underlying gesture performance. First evidence from structural imaging studies in schizophrenia corroborates these results. However, as of yet, it is unclear if cortical thickness abnormalities contribute to impairments in gesture performance. We hypothesized that patients with deficits in gesture production show cortical thinning in 12 regions of interest (ROIs) of a gesture network relevant for gesture performance and recognition. Forty patients with schizophrenia and 41 healthy controls performed hand and finger gestures as either imitation or pantomime. Group differences in cortical thickness between patients with deficits, patients without deficits, and controls were explored using a multivariate analysis of covariance. In addition, the relationship between gesture recognition and cortical thickness was investigated. Patients with deficits in gesture production had reduced cortical thickness in eight ROIs, including the pars opercularis of the inferior frontal gyrus, the superior and inferior parietal lobes, and the superior and middle temporal gyri. Gesture recognition correlated with cortical thickness in fewer, but mainly the same, ROIs within the patient sample. In conclusion, our results show that impaired gesture production and recognition in schizophrenia is associated with cortical thinning in distinct areas of the gesture network.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Translational Research Center
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology

UniBE Contributor:

Viher, Petra, Stegmayer, Katharina Deborah Lena, Federspiel, Andrea, Vanbellingen, Tim, Bohlhalter, Stephan, Wiest, Roland Gerhard Rudi, Strik, Werner, Walther, Sebastian


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Martin Zbinden

Date Deposited:

19 Dec 2017 08:55

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:29

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Cortical thickness Gesture Nonverbal communication Praxis Schizophrenia




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