Mismatch and lexical retrieval gestures are associated with visual information processing, verbal production, and symptomatology in youth at high risk for psychosis

Zachary B. Millman*, James Goss, Jason Schiffman, Johana Mejias, Tina Gupta, Vijay A. Mittal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Gesture is integrally linked with language and cognitive systems, and recent years have seen a growing attention to these movements in patients with schizophrenia. To date, however, there have been no investigations of gesture in youth at ultra high risk (UHR) for psychosis. Examining gesture in UHR individuals may help to elucidate other widely recognized communicative and cognitive deficits in this population and yield new clues for treatment development. Method: In this study, mismatch (indicating semantic incongruency between the content of speech and a given gesture) and retrieval (used during pauses in speech while a person appears to be searching for a word or idea) gestures were evaluated in 42 UHR individuals and 36 matched healthy controls. Cognitive functions relevant to gesture production (i.e., speed of visual information processing and verbal production) as well as positive and negative symptomatologies were assessed. Results: Although the overall frequency of cases exhibiting these behaviors was low, UHR individuals produced substantially more mismatch and retrieval gestures than controls. The UHR group also exhibited significantly poorer verbal production performance when compared with controls. In the patient group, mismatch gestures were associated with poorer visual processing speed and elevated negative symptoms, while retrieval gestures were associated with higher speed of visual information-processing and verbal production, but not symptoms. Conclusions: Taken together these findings indicate that gesture abnormalities are present in individuals at high risk for psychosis. While mismatch gestures may be closely related to disease processes, retrieval gestures may be employed as a compensatory mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-68
Number of pages5
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Volume158
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Gesture
  • Lexical retrieval
  • Prodromale cognition
  • Speech-gesture mismatches
  • UHR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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