Evidence for gesture-speech mismatch detection impairments in schizophrenia
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Patients with schizophrenia suffer from impairments in the perception and production of gestures. The extent to which patients can access the semantic association between speech and co-verbal gestures in concrete or abstract/metaphorical meaning contexts is unknown. We investigated 1) how patients differ from controls in gesture matching performance, 2) how performance differs in the context of abstract versus concrete meaning, and 3) whether formal thought disorder (FTD) symptom severity predicts task impairment. Forty-five patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (two subgroups, mild and severe) took part in this study. Participants were presented with video clips, each showing an actor saying a sentence while producing a gesture. Sentences contained either concrete or abstract/metaphorical information, and the accompanying gesture was either semantically related or unrelated to the sentence. Participants indicated via button press whether the gesture matched the content of the verbal utterance. Both patient subgroups demonstrated reduced performance in all comparisons. A significant interaction was found between patient subgroup and sentence abstractness. Task performance was worst for patients with severe positive FTD symptomatology in the abstract condition, while there were no patient subgroup differences in the concrete condition. These data shed new light on gesture-speech mismatch detection impairments in schizophrenia.
- English Literature & Linguistics [37 items ]