Key words structure and Theory of Mind in communicative interaction

Abstract

The study describes the communicative and linguistic characteristics of subjects’ behavior in the verbal communication processes. Several series of experiments aimed at revealing capability for interaction and distributed attention in the process of joint accomplishment of an experimental task were conducted in different variations of groups of schizophrenic patients and normal controls. This capability is based on deducing the mental state of communicative partner (ToM ability). In our experiments one partner of à dyad had to follow the instructions of the other partner when visual monitoring was not available. “Key words” method was used for the analysis of the verbal data. During the interaction, participants, discribing each object, had to go through three phases: Identification, Localization, and Checking. Our results show that schizophrenic patients performed significantly worse than controls in coming through all these phases. Schizophrenic patients use lesser key words set than optimal one; their poor performance could be explained by ToM deficiency.


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