Hand gesture performance is impaired in major depressive disorder: A matter of working memory performance?

Pavlidou, Anastasia; Viher, Petra V.; Bachofner, Hanta; Weiss, Florian; Stegmayer, Katharina; Shankman, Stewart A.; Mittal, Vijay A.; Walther, Sebastian (2021). Hand gesture performance is impaired in major depressive disorder: A matter of working memory performance? Journal of affective disorders, 292, pp. 81-88. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jad.2021.05.055

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OBJECTIVE

Individuals with depression exhibit numerous interpersonal deficits. As effective use of gestures is critical for social communication, it is possible that depressed individuals' interpersonal deficits may be due to deficits in gesture performance. The present study thus compared gesture performance of depressed patients and controls and examined whether these deficits relate to cognitive and other domains of dysfunction.

METHODS

Gesture performance was evaluated in 30 depressed patients and 30 controls using the Test of Upper Limb Apraxia (TULIA). Clinical rating scales were assessed to determine if gesture deficits were associated with motor, cognitive or functional outcomes.

RESULTS

Compared to controls, depressed patients exhibited impaired gesture performance with 2/3 of the patients demonstrating gesture deficits. Within depressed patients, gesture performance was highly correlated with working memory abilities. In contrast, no association between gesture performance and gestural knowledge, psychomotor retardation, depression severity, or frontal dysfunction was observed in patients.

LIMITATIONS

This is a cross-sectional study and a larger size would have allowed for confident detection of more subtle, but potentially relevant effects.

CONCLUSION

Gesture performance is impaired in depressed patients, and appears to be related to poor working memory abilities, suggesting a disruption in the retrieval of gestural cues indicative of a distinct clinical phenomenon that might be related to social functioning.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Translational Research Center
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

UniBE Contributor:

Pavlidou, Anastasia; Viher, Petra; Bachofner, Hanta; Weiss, Florian; Stegmayer, Katharina Deborah Lena and Walther, Sebastian

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

1573-2517

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Sebastian Walther

Date Deposited:

22 Jun 2021 10:03

Last Modified:

16 Jul 2021 01:34

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.jad.2021.05.055

PubMed ID:

34107424

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Depression Gesture Non-verbal communication Social functioning Working memory

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/156907

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/156907

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