The first 30 seconds of a social encounter is crucial for people with symptoms of schizophrenia for creating contact with people, according to new analysis carried out at Queen Mary University of London.
Using motion capture technology additionally found in the film industry, the researchers studied social interactions associated with patients in a group and analysed the patterns of verbal plus non-verbal communication.
Publishing in the journal PLOS ONE today, researchers found people with schizophrenia are sidelined in conversation even when other individuals are unaware of their illness.
To examine this, the scientists setup a conversation between three people and investigated how peoples’ involvement varied.
Each player wore clothing with 27 reflecting markers, which were tracked in THREE DIMENSIONAL by an array of infrared cameras in the Augmented Human Interaction Laboratory, a part of Queen Mary’ s School associated with Electronic Engineering and Computer Technology.
“ This is the first-time motion capture techniques have been put on clinical populations to analyse exactly how people relate to each other, and the complex social barriers faced by many people with mental health problems, ” stated co-author Professor Pat Healey, mind of Cognitive Science Research Team, which is part of the School of Digital Engineering and Computer Science.
“ Nonverbal communication, such as gestures, nodding and posture, are a key part of face-to-face communication. The particular motion capture equipment allows us to study this non-verbal choreography in reside interactions in an unprecedented level of details. ”
In the study, the team observed that people along with symptoms of schizophrenia were more taken and less likely to be spoken to in the opening moments of the conversations, and found it harder to interact the other participants.
The down sides in these opening moments are connected with other participants feeling less relationship immediately following the encounter but aren’ t linked to the severity of the patient’ s illness, which were measured simply by standard assessments of symptoms.
Co-author Dr Mary Lavelle, now based at the Institute associated with Psychiatry at King’ s College London, said: “ This analysis demonstrates the impact of household on interpersonal success for people with schizophrenia. Understanding why this happens could be type in tackling the social difficulties through patients. ”
About one in a hundred people can experience schizophrenia in their lifetime and so they tend to be one of the most socially excluded groups in society, for example , only close to ten per cent are in employment. Interpersonal stigma associated with mental illness means they have fewer people to turn to within a crisis and fewer friends.
It’ s known that interactions with others are important for people showing symptoms or that have been identified or treated for schizophrenia — those that have better social networks are more in a position to cope with their illness.
Co-author Professor Rose McCabe, right now based at University of Exeter Medical School, said: “ The investigation could be critical in supporting patients with schizophrenia because we know that anyone who has good interpersonal relationships have much better health outcomes, and it will help us take the next steps toward improving outcomes and reducing social exemption. ”
Professor Healey added: “ In the future it may be feasible to use motion capture from computer game technology such as the Kinect system to obtain similar data from more everyday surroundings. ”