Nonverbal Synchrony in Social Interactions of Patients with Schizophrenia Indicates Socio-Communicative DeficitsReportar como inadecuado

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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.


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.


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.


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.

Autor: Zeno Kupper , Fabian Ramseyer, Holger Hoffmann, Wolfgang Tschacher



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