Nonverbal synchrony in social interactions of patients with schizophrenia indicates socio-communicative deficits

Kupper, Zeno; Ramseyer, Fabian; Hoffmann, Holger; Tschacher, Wolfgang (2015). Nonverbal synchrony in social interactions of patients with schizophrenia indicates socio-communicative deficits. PLoS ONE, 10(12), e0145882. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0145882

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Background Disordered interpersonal communication can be a serious problem in schizophrenia. Recent advances in computer-based measures allow reliable and objective quantification of nonverbal behavior. Research using these novel measures has shown that objective amounts of body and head movement in patients with schizophrenia during social interactions are closely related to the symptom profiles of these patients. In addition to and above mere amounts of movement, the degree of synchrony, or imitation, between patients and normal interactants may be indicative of core deficits underlying various problems in domains related to interpersonal communication, such as symptoms, social competence, and social functioning. Methods Nonverbal synchrony was assessed objectively using Motion Energy Analysis (MEA) in 378 brief, videotaped role-play scenes involving 27 stabilized outpatients diagnosed with paranoid-type schizophrenia. Results Low nonverbal synchrony was indicative of symptoms, low social competence, impaired social functioning, and low self-evaluation of competence. These relationships remained largely significant when correcting for the amounts of patients‘ movement. When patients showed reduced imitation of their interactants’ movements, negative symptoms were likely to be prominent. Conversely, positive symptoms were more prominent in patients when their interaction partners’ imitation of their movements was reduced. Conclusions Nonverbal synchrony can be an objective and sensitive indicator of the severity of patients’ problems. Furthermore, quantitative analysis of nonverbal synchrony may provide novel insights into specific relationships between symptoms, cognition, and core communicative problems in schizophrenia.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Psychotherapy
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Healthcare Research
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services

UniBE Contributor:

Kupper, Zeno; Ramseyer, Fabian; Hoffmann, Holger and Tschacher, Wolfgang

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

1932-6203

Publisher:

Public Library of Science

Funders:

Organisations 3200 not found.

Language:

English

Submitter:

Zeno Kupper

Date Deposited:

07 Jan 2016 16:56

Last Modified:

17 May 2016 15:52

Publisher DOI:

10.1371/journal.pone.0145882

PubMed ID:

26716444

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.74630

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/74630

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