eISSN: 2084-9885
ISSN: 1896-6764
Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia/Neuropsychiatry and Neuropsychology
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vol. 11
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Between the words – nonaphasic communication problems in schizophrenia

Ewa Martyniak
Julia Wyszomirska
Marek Krzystanek
Katarzyna Piekarska-Bugiel

Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia 2016; 11, 2: 64–71
Online publish date: 2016/09/19
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Despite the significant progress that has been made in recent years in research on schizophrenia, there are still problems related to insufficient therapeutic improvement in social functioning of patients. Poor communication skills associated with cognitive impairment in the processing of signals from the social environment are often the cause of difficulties in establishing and maintaining satisfactory social relations.

The ability to use language in a manner appropriate to a specific social situation is necessary for efficient communication, in addition to following specific phonological, lexical and grammatical rules. Pragmatics is the field of communication where the context and the intention of a speaker decide which form of verbal and nonverbal expression is used. Skilful comprehension of nonliteral meaning of communication provides a direct information flow and gives the speaker a feeling of being comprehended. The aim of the article is to present pragmatic errors related to cognitive dysfunctions leading to information flow failures in schizophrenic subjects.

The cognitive dysfunctions, producing false modification of social interactions, are poor understanding of metaphoric, ironic or humoristic verbal expressions and a decreased ability to copy the emotional content of communication. Together with a global cognitive deficit, they interfere with efficient communication, which is the condition for maintaining satisfactory social relations.

More thorough analysis of pragmatics related communication problems may help to understand the background of failures in contacting other people and create therapeutic programmes aiming to improve them.

pragmatics, communication problems, schizophrenia

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