Detecting order-disorder transitions in discourse : implications for schizophrenia
Abstract Several psychiatric and neurological conditions affect the semantic organization and content of a patient's speech. Specifically, the discourse of patients with schizophrenia is frequently characterized as lacking coherence. The evaluation of disturbances in discourse is often used in diagnosis and in assessing treatment efficacy, and is an important factor in prognosis. Measuring these deviations, such as “loss of meaning” and incoherence, is difficult and requires substantial human effort. Computational procedures can be employed to characterize the nature of the anomalies in discourse. We present a set of new tools derived from network theory and information science that may assist in empirical and clinical studies of communication patterns in patients, and provide the foundation for future automatic procedures. First we review information science and complex network approaches to measuring semantic coherence, and then we introduce a representation of discourse that allows for the computation of measures of disorganization. Finally we apply these tools to speech transcriptions from patients and a healthy participant, illustrating the implications and potential of this novel framework.
SiteringSchizophrenia Research 131(2011) nr. 1-3 s. 157-164
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