October 19-23, 2024
Erice, Sicily, ITALY

Workshop Organizers

Conference goals

Purpose of the Workshop

Conference goals

Ethology, as conceptualized in 1963 by Niko Tinbergen on the occasion of Konrad Lorenz’s 60th birthday, deals with the function, mechanism, phylogenetic history, and adaptive value of physical traits as well as behaviour Nonverbal signals conveyed by facial expressions, gestures, and body posture of Homo sapiens comprise a large part of communication that most likely exceed the information transmitted because most of nonverbal communication is outside conscious control. Thus from an ethological and evolutionary perspective nonverbal behaviour is much more reliable in terms of the veracity and authenticity of the information that is transported to interacting conspecifics than verbal expressions. In other words, lying nonverbally is much more difficult than it is in verbal communication. This aspect is of utmost importance in clinical therapeutic setting. The ethological methods and procedure to quantify nonverbal behaviour is the ethogram that provides catalogues of discrete elements of the behavioural repertoire of the species under study. Human ethogram have been used in a range of settings, including dyads of mothers and children, psychotherapeutic settings, and other clinical contexts that have greatly advanced our understanding of what kind of information and how it is conveyed beyond insight from subjective evaluations via questionnaires. The purpose of the present workshop is to give an overview of the “state of the art” of the importance of the ethological approach for the understanding of nonverbal communication between human interactions in clinical therapeutic setting. Given our evolutionary history nonverbal behaviour will be explored in nonhuman primates and in animal- human interactions. This aim will be achieved by interdisciplinary discussion between ethologists, primatologists, child psychologists, psychiatrists and psycotherapists.

Speakers & Topics

Martin Brüne

Nonverbal behaviour in borderline personality disorder: why oxytocin does not pay off 

Costanza Colombi

Pre-emptive Intervention for Prodromes of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) during the First Year of Life

Giada Cordoni

Playing with emotions: play behaviour as an indicator of positive and negative emotions in non human primates 

David Eilam

Movement language of psychiatric patients: Examples from OCD and Schizophrenia

Pier Francesco Ferrari

Mirror neurons and non verbal social communication

Jairo Munoz Delgado

Non verbal display: Motor activity and facial expression in BPD

Lynne Murray

Impact of adult psychiatric disorder and infant clinical conditions on the functional architecture of parent-infant interactions and implications for therapeutic intervention

Ivan Norscia

The puzzling link between motor replication during natural interactions and socio-emotional relations in primates

Joseph Polimeni

Are some psychiatric symptoms actually signals to others

Fabian Ramseyer

Movement Dynamics in Dyadic Interaction: Assessing Interpersonal Coordination and Relating it to Interaction Outcome

Paul St John-Smith

Depression, an evolutionary and Ethological perspective

Matteo Tonna

The missing relationship between non-verbal displays and symptoms in psychopathology

Alfonso Troisi

Psychiatric disorders between mind and brain: Where is behavior?

Registration and Abstract Submission