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Disturbing the rhythm of thought: Speech pausing patterns in schizophrenia, with and without formal thought disorder

Çokal, D; Zimmerer, V; Turkington, D; Ferrier, N; Varley, R; Watson, S; Hinzen, W; (2019) Disturbing the rhythm of thought: Speech pausing patterns in schizophrenia, with and without formal thought disorder. PLoS One , 14 (5) , Article e0217404. 10.1371/journal.pone.0217404. Green open access

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Abstract

Everyday speech is produced with an intricate timing pattern and rhythm. Speech units follow each other with short interleaving pauses, which can be either bridged by fillers (erm, ah) or empty. Through their syntactic positions, pauses connect to the thoughts expressed. We investigated whether disturbances of thought in schizophrenia are manifest in patterns at this level of linguistic organization, whether these are seen in first degree relatives (FDR) and how specific they are to formal thought disorder (FTD). Spontaneous speech from 15 participants without FTD (SZ-FTD), 15 with FTD (SZ+FTD), 15 FDRs and 15 neurotypical controls (NC) was obtained from a comic strip retelling task and rated for pauses subclassified by syntactic position and duration. SZ-FTD produced significantly more unfilled pauses than NC in utterance-initial positions and before embedded clauses. Unfilled pauses occurring within clausal units did not distinguish any groups. SZ-FTD also differed from SZ+FTD in producing significantly more pauses before embedded clauses. SZ+FTD differed from NC and FDR only in producing longer utterance-initial pauses. FDRs produced significantly fewer fillers than NC. Results reveal that the temporal organization of speech is an important window on disturbances of the thought process and how these relate to language.

Type: Article
Title: Disturbing the rhythm of thought: Speech pausing patterns in schizophrenia, with and without formal thought disorder
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0217404
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0217404
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10076450
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