Echopraxia definition psychology

What Is Echopraxia? | Psych Central

Imitating others’ actions or gestures can be a natural human behavior, but when it happens frequently and involuntarily, it could be echopraxia.

Mimicking or mirroring someone else’s actions can be a natural part of the human socialization and learning process. Young children often repeat the movements of adults or mirror social gestures while learning about social reciprocity.

Mirroring behaviors can also occur in adults, but it isn’t as common. For example, you may observe someone yawning and then have the urge to yawn.

However, when imitating others’ actions occurs frequently and involuntarily later in adolescence or as an adult, it could be echopraxia.

People with schizophrenia, Tourette syndrome, and those on the autism spectrum could be more likely to experience echopraxia, which may contribute to having social challenges.

Echopraxia, also known as “echomotism,” is the involuntary repetition of another person’s movements or actions.

A person with this symptom may mimic your hand gestures during a conversation or copy how you walk.

This involuntary repetition of another person’s actions can also include harmful movements, such as kicking or biting themselves or others.

Although its cause is not completely understood, it often appears in autistic individuals, or people who have schizophrenia, Tourette syndrome, and other mental health conditions.

It can also occur in people with disorders of the brain or brain injury. In addition, echopraxia may appear in people with:

  • autoimmune conditions
  • epilepsy
  • major neurocognitive disorder (previously known as dementia)
  • culture-bound syndromes, including Latah, amurakh, and Imu

Furthermore, echopraxia can be a feature of catatonia found in some mental health conditions. It can also coexist with echolalia, which is the repetition of words or phrases another person says.

Scientists continue to investigate the causes of echopraxia. Still, according to a 2015 article, some researchers believe it may occur because of abnormalities in mirror neurons in the brain.

Mirror neurons are brain cells that direct you to copy what you’ve seen or heard and may be the reason behind contagious yawning.

Mimicking others can be a natural part of social development. However, people with echopraxia may be unable to control their body’s response to the physical movement of others.

A person with echopraxia may:

  • copy the actions of teachers, which could lead to problems in school for some children
  • mimic TV show or movie characters
  • repeat potentially harmful actions, like kicking or punching

Because this occurs frequently, echopraxia might cause difficulties with social interactions and relationships. People unfamiliar with this symptom may not understand why they’re being imitated, which may lead to misunderstandings.

It may be a good idea to talk with a healthcare professional about echopraxia if mimicking or mirroring is occurring involuntarily, causing challenges in social interactions or daily functioning.

Echopraxia can occur with several mental health conditions. Still, it may occur more frequently in autistic people and those with schizophrenia or Tourette syndrome.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Echopraxia can occur in autistic people. However, they typically mimic others less often than people with echopraxia in other conditions like schizophrenia.

It is more common for autistic people to experience echolalia — including copying accents and dialect styles.

Mimicking behavior can be reduced or excessive, depending on the individual. Some researchers say the “broken mirror” hypothesis explains the differences in repetitive and involuntary mimicking experienced by some autistic people.


For people with schizophrenia, a 2008 speculative paper suggests deficits in the mirror neuron system may play a role in echopraxia.

However, many people with schizophrenia are aware of their tendency to imitate others, which can occur more frequently when attempting to communicate.

Tourette syndrome

One of the first indications of Tourette syndrome is the presence of echopraxia, and it’s thought to be another variation of the tics associated with the condition.

A 2012 study suggests that echopraxia in people with Tourette syndrome is not the result of deficits in the mirror neuron system. Instead, it may result from interference in the frontal lobe of the brain that regulates imitation control.

Currently, there are no formal tests used to diagnose echopraxia. Instead, doctors and mental health professionals diagnose it based on a person’s medical and psychological history, alongside observation.

Because mimicking behavior can be a typical part of social development in children, echopraxia is generally not diagnosed in children younger than 3.

Additionally, part of the diagnostic process is determining whether the imitative behavior is intentional or involuntary.

Intentional mimicking can be a mechanism for learning new skills or social gestures, whereas involuntary copying of another person’s movements cannot be controlled and has no specific purpose. Identifying which type is occurring is easier in older children and adults.

Managing echopraxia often involves treating underlying mental health conditions, such as Tourette syndrome and schizophrenia.

Research on echopraxia treatment is limited. However, managing it is possible using:

  • behavioral modification
  • certain medications, especially for those with Tourette syndrome
  • psychotherapy

Like all mental health conditions, you may need to try different things to find what works best for you.

If a brain injury or other neurological disorder is the reason behind a person experiencing echopraxia, treatment may include surgery or other methods to improve the underlying condition.

If echopraxia isn’t causing self-harm or the symptoms are mild, some people may choose to remain untreated.

For some people, experiencing echopraxia can be uncomfortable, especially if symptoms are contributing to social difficulties and miscommunication.

Echopraxia is not your fault — you cannot control this mimicking behavior.

If you think you might have echopraxia, you’re not alone. There are actionable steps you can take to help manage this symptom.

You’ll first want to consider talking with a healthcare professional about anything you’re experiencing. You and a doctor can decide if there’s a need to pursue a diagnosis.

If you’re diagnosed with echopraxia, the next step is often to figure out the underlying condition, or try a new treatment for managing your condition if you already have a diagnosis.

If you know someone who’s diagnosed with echopraxia, being compassionate and understanding can help them feel safe and accepted.

It can also be helpful to advocate for someone with echopraxia around others who may not understand it. This can promote awareness and acceptance.

If you need some help finding a mental healthy professional, you can visit Psych Central’s hub.

Diagnosis | UCL Institute of Mental Health

The two major psychiatric manuals, DSM-5 and ICD-11, now agree that the diagnosis of catatonia requires the presence of 3 of the following 12 clinical features:

  1. Stupor (a state of reduced responsiveness)
  2. Catalepsy (patient adopts positions that they are put in by the examiner)
  3. Waxy flexibility (light resistance to repositioning)
  4. Mutism (minimal or absent speech)
  5. Negativism (automatic and motiveless resistance to instructions)
  6. Posturing (spontaneous adoption of positions that are held for an abnormal length of time)
  7. Mannerisms (exaggerated example of normal action)
  8. Stereotypies (repetitive, non-goal-directed movements)
  9. Psychomotor agitation (increased activity unrelated to external stimuli)
  10. Grimacing (abnormally fixed facial expression)
  11. Echolalia (repetition of another person’s speech)
  12. Echopraxia (mimicry of another person’s movements)

Some of these features may be elicited simply by observation. A comprehensive catatonia examination is provided below, adapted from Bush et al., 1996

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Signs to be elicited

Observe the patient carefully, initially ideally without them being aware of your presence

Posturing (spontaneous adoption of positions that are held for an abnormal length of time)

Mannerisms (exaggerated example of normal action)

Stereotypies (repetitive, non-goal-directed movements)

Psychomotor agitation (increased activity unrelated to external stimuli)

Grimacing (abnormally fixed facial expression)

Introduce yourself and offer to shake hands. If ambitendency is not elicited, this can be amplified by offering your hand and stating, ‘Do not shake my hand.

Ambitendency (ambivalent back-and-forth movements)

Attempt to engage in conversation

Mutism (minimal or absent speech)

Echolalia (repetition of another person’s speech)

Scratch your head in an exaggerated manner. Repeat on the other side.

Echopraxia (mimicry of another person’s movements)

Assess muscle tone, asking the patient to keep their arms relaxed.

Gegenhalten (resistance to movements that is equal and opposite to the force applied by the examiner)

Take the patient’s radial pulse while holding their arm elevated for at least 10s, then let go.

Catalepsy (patient adopts positions that they are put in by the examiner)

Tachycardia (increased heart rate)

Ask the patient to put their arms horizontally out in front of them and not to let you move them.

Mitmachen (passive movement of the patient’s limbs with the examiner despite instructions to the contrary) or Mitgehen (extreme form of Mitmachen in which even the slightest pressure causes the limb to move)

Measure vital signs

Tachycardia (increased heart rate)

Hypertension (increased blood pressure)

Pyrexia (increased temperature)

Examine food and fluid intake charts

Poor oral intake

Echopraxia | World of Psychology

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Echopraxia (from Greek echo - reflection of sound + praxis - action) - imitative automatism, automatic repetition of movements and actions of other people. Echopraxia can manifest itself in various forms: more often, a sick person repeats only relatively elementary movements that take place in front of his eyes (eg, raising a hand, clapping).

One form of Echopraxia - Echolalia . The most pronounced form of E. is observed in schizophrenia, but some forms are found in adults and children suffering from organic diseases of the brain, in particular, with imbecility and pronounced debility (see Mental retardation ). (ED Khomskaya)

Psychological Dictionary. A.V. Petrovsky M.G. Yaroshevsky

Echopraxia (from the Greek echo - echo, praxia - action) - imitative, automatic repetition of movements and actions of other people. The echopraxia can be shown in various forms: more often the patient repeats rather elementary movements, to-rye are made before his eyes (for example, raising of a hand, clapping in hands, etc.). One of the forms of E. is echolalia.

Echopraxia is observed in schizophrenia, with lesions of the frontal lobes of the brain, with organic diseases of the brain.

Dictionary of psychiatric terms. V.M. Bleikher, I. V. Crook

Echopraxia (echo + Greek praxis - action) . Involuntary repetition by the mentally ill of actions, gestures of others. symptom of catatonia.

Neurology. Complete explanatory dictionary. Nikiforov A.S.

Echopraxia - Syn.: Echokinesia . The tendency to reproduce the actions carried out by the examiner. So, for example, the patient correctly performs the task if the examiner himself performs the specified movement, but if the patient is asked to raise his finger in response to the examiner's raised fist, then he inadequately responds to the verbal task and, following the examiner, also raises his fist, while ignoring the verbal task. . One of the manifestations of the frontal syndrome.

Oxford Dictionary of Psychology

Echopraxia - pathological tendency to repeat gestures made by others; sometimes observed in catatonic schizophrenia. Also called echokinesia.

subject area of ​​the term

Echopraxia (Echolalia) - repetition by the patient of certain words or actions that are pronounced or performed in his presence by someone else.

ECHOPRAXIA, ECHOKINESIS (echokinesis) - pathological imitation of the actions of another person. May be one of the symptoms of catatonia.

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  • Echopraxia

What is echopraxia in psychology?

Echopraxia is an involuntary mirroring of an observed action. Simulated actions can range from simple motor tasks like picking up a phone to violent actions like punching another person.

Is echopraxia a disorder?

Echopraxia: involuntary imitation of movements of another person . Echopraxia is a feature of schizophrenia (especially the catatonic form), Tourette's syndrome, and some other neurological diseases. From Echo + Greek praxia meaning action.

What is the most common type of delusion?

Subsequent delusion

This is the most common form of delusional disorder. In this form, the victim fears that they are being stalked, spied on, hindered, poisoned, conspired, or harassed by other people or an organization.

What is copying the behavior of others?

Normal human behavior, classified as " mirroring ", has been known and studied by psychologists for a long time. We all tend to imitate the gestures of people we like, and we do it subconsciously. … As a rule, mirroring means that the interlocutors enjoy their communication. There is a certain level of agreement between them.

What is imitation syndrome?

Whenever a celebrity or popular political figure commits suicide there is always a risk that it will motivate someone who is thinking of killing themselves to actually do so. This is often referred to as the "copycat effect".

Why do I reflect others?

Mirroring can be considered a form of empathy and "running into someone's shoes". Mirroring is a social phenomenon where people imitate the posture, gestures and words of another person. … When two people mirror each other, it shows that there is comfort, trust and mutual understanding among them.

Does body language flirt like a mirror?

When people are attracted to each other, they tend to sit or stand in the same way and copy each other's physical gestures . This is known as "mirroring". When someone does this, it marks good communication and shows us that our interest is reciprocated.

How to disable mirroring?

"To stop mirroring your iOS or iPados device, open Control Center, click on the screen mirror mirroring equipment, then click "Stop mirror mirroring tool". Or press the menu button on your Apple TV remote. It will help from Mac. "To stop mirroring or using the TV as a standalone display, click in the menu bar, then select Put On Air."

What is mirror behavior?

Also known as limbic synchrony, mirroring is the act of imitating those around us. An ingrained social behavior that usually produces positive results, mirroring can help build rapport between people, with research finding it improves children's interpersonal skills.

What do you do when someone copies you?

How to deal with imitation

  1. Believe me, there is room for everyone. …
  2. Just go. …
  3. I'm having an awkward conversation. …
  4. Protect your work. …
  5. Make someone else the bad guy. …
  6. Continue creating with confidence.

Why do children copy their friends?

The threat of ostracism causes children to imitate group behavior as a way to get back "in the group," according to psychologists. … “When children feel left out, they copy the behavior of those around them in order to appear more like them,” says Watson-Jones.

What do you call a person who copies others?

Someone who imitates what you do or say is Copycat. If your little brother orders Fettuccine Alfredo after you've already ordered it, you might call it an imitation. The word growing up is a flippant, mildly pejorative word for a person who imitates someone else.

How do you know if someone is copying you?

People who copy usually have 4 psychological traits or thoughts. They are either: lacks a sense of self - they don't know who they are, so you, you seem amazing. Green with envy - they want you to have what they copy you to try and get it.

which person is most likely to have the highest self-esteem?

Researchers compared self-reported gender and age in 48 countries in their study. Overall, the researchers found that self-esteem tended to increase with age, from adolescence to adulthood, and that men at any age tend to have higher levels of self-esteem than women worldwide.

Why do we copy behavior?

When someone imitates you in a good way, he conveys some kind of pleasure that you get from interacting with another person . 2. … imitation of emotional expressions increases social interactions and interpersonal connection. We create a sense of similarity by imitating each other in different ways.

Why do children copy older people?

In fact, Yang said that the trends in extreme imitations of children help them learn more effectively about new objects in their environment . ... "Children's ability to imitate can lead to confusion when they see adults doing something in a disorganized or inefficient way," he said.

Why do brothers and sisters copy each other?

"Brothers and sisters also copy each other," says McHale. “They interact, reinforce behavior, serve as models, and get to know each other through the experience.

How can I stop my child from imitating?

When your child's friend is a bad influence

  1. Master most of the time. Have a friend in your house for most playtime and minimize how often your child goes to buddy's pillow.
  2. Set house rules. …
  3. handle some copying. …
  4. Ask your preschool teacher for help. …
  5. Shorten play dates.

Why do people copy others?

people often imitate or imitate others unconsciously. Mimicry has social benefits. Imitation of others helps to establish mutual understanding between two people or to unite social groups. …whether it happens consciously or unconsciously, in face-to-face interactions or on the Internet, copying is about conformity.

How to copy someone in an email?

Button labeled 9 in Microsoft Outlook0007 "cc" , so "CC" is still quite common. You can also BCC someone (blind carbon copy), but Microsoft makes you look for the BCC button. When you do someone you usually say "I'm copying you via email" rather than "I'm excited about you via email".

What is symptom mirroring?

Speculum Syndrome occurs when the fetus has an abnormal build-up of fluid while the mother has pre-eclampsia, a high blood pressure condition.

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