origins of synergology

Synergology: a new discipline, method and a tool in communication.

Synergology has founded new concepts in the field of the non-verbal, beginning with body language, concepts which so far, had not yet been described: microscratchings. When a contradiction between verbal information and feelings not openly expressed is experienced, these micro-movements will manifest themselves. Because of this astonishing discovery, every physical gesture will prompt some activity in the brain, therefore eliminating any contradiction through bodily movement. This allows non-verbal communication to be observed in a new semantic field.

Surprising as it may seem, non-verbal communication had never -until now- been tackled in a systematic way and no scientific practice was entirely devoted to it. The aim of Synergology is to define itself as a scientific discipline whose object of study is specifically the interpretation of non-verbal communication. Prestigious authors such as Desmond Morris, Edward Hall, Ray Birdhwhistell, Gregory Bateson, Friesen and Paul Ekman had contributed significantly to this field already, and many continue to do so.

Neuroscience brought a determining factor to synergology concerning the association of behavioural reactions and cerebral hemispheres in everyday communication. It shows clearly how spoken- and hidden thoughts relate to each other and allow to understand the criteria upon which emotions can be read, leading to better understanding of those with whom we are communicating.

Origins of synergology  –  In the 1980′s Philippe Turchet (photo) was a doctoral student in France working on behaviour and rationality. He emphasized the importance of certain micro-movements of the face and body in human communication. He discovered, by filming people of Chinese and Arabic origin, that unconscious eye movements did not appear to be neurologically programmed, as had been thought. Unconsciously, eye movements differ between Arabs and Westerners, and depend on the logic underlying our basic learning, especially writing. He then showed that unconscious body movements follow the same rules. In 1996 he founded the discipline that would allow the systematic interpretation of human non-verbal communication by establishing the first terminology of Synergology. Almost thirty years after Philippe Turchet began his work, a dedicated team of synergologists now have at their disposal a databank containing several tens of thousands of video sequences. These describe in detail the principles of rigorous and scientific interpretation of non-verbal communication. Turchet has written several popular scientific books on Synergology which are now bestsellers translated into dozens of languages all over the world (october ’12 in the U.S.A)

Synergology Today – Today Synergology is taught all over the world by the team of specialists trained by Turchet. The training courses are evaluated through the rights of inspection of the associations with which they are connected. The European and American structures are both independent and in close contact with each other. They constitute a guarantee that each new item of non-verbal communication is integrated speedily and smoothly into the inventory, whatever the country in which the discipline is taught. All Synergology trainers, after university or professional pre-requisites in their field of competence, have taken more than 300 hours of training required to be admitted to the discipline. They also have undergone the specific and complementary training to become Synergology trainers. All the hours of training are evaluated and validated by awarding corresponding diplomas. Training in synergology is also available in English, Dutch and Spanish

MODE OF CONTROL (Synergological Observation)

Non-verbal communication is one of the rare domains in human sciences in which it is possible to corroborate observations. In psychology, for example, it is not always easy to pinpoint the unconscious. To say that this or that person does ‘this’ or ‘that‘ because of some unconscious strategy is not always formally “provable”. The propositions or hypotheses of synergology are of a different order. They are verifiable.


We can observe non-verbal communicaton and therefore validate or unvalidate using scientific criteria. Example: if we say that “a person who is experiencing a positive emotion, his lower eyelid is always retracted or raised (referring to the muscle underneath the eye). This makes it impossible to discern the white of the eye underneath the iris. There is no mistake: it is either true or false. To prove the veracity or falsity of this proposition we will require a stock of videoclips of people being very excited for positive reasons.  If, in more than one video out of ten, the inferior white of the eye is visible, the synergological proposition is invalidated.  In order for its veracity to be total, we would need then to compare these images to expressions in which the eyes are sad, observing precisely the way the lower eyelid of the sad eye shows the inferior white of the eye, which is very visible. On this basis, we don’t hesitate to say that in the domain of reading non-verbal communication there are charlatans simply because their propositions have not passed through this barrier of control, saying certain things are true but incapable of demonstrating this formally. We can show this abundantly in the trainings. Each time an occasion presents itself, the new proposition is proposed to scientists. That is what the code of ethics for synergology (AQS and AES) suggests.

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Recent knowledge in neurosciences were of great importance in the development of synergology and gave sense to a structurally different way to approach body language. Based on the functioning of the brain the method allows decrypting body language. Synergoloy verifies her findings using scientific criteria. The goal in synergology is to have better understanding in communication. to verify her acceptances and has proved to be invaluable wherever the goal is to improve performance in communication-skills.

Like astronomy is the science that studies the stars, the study must not be confused with its subject: the stars. Scientists practice astronomy, not stars. Likewise we do not do numbers; we do mathematics. The objective in synergology is to better decrypt the functioning of the human brain through body language. Synergology is anchored in the pluridisciplinair field both neuro- and communication-sciences.

Synergology has recognized the findings of certain scholars in accordance with the observations of « the school of Palo Alto », the findings of Ray Birdwhistell, Edward T. Hall, Gregory Bateson, Paul Watzlawick, but has also founded its own theory based on this school of thinking. Palo Alto’s tendency is to gather every contradiction between the verbal and the non-verbal language. Synergology recognises that non-verbal language is solely responsible for these contradictions, that non-verbal language may have a double meaning. Synergologists can decode lies taken on video without the sound. This proves without a doubt that body language alone can sometimes be contradictory.

Synergology introduces new concepts into the nonverbal field, starting from the observation of body reactions which had never had been isolated and had been described until there: microscratchings. The latest contribution in neurosciences was determining the advance of synergology. The assumptions on which it rests indeed find their substrate scientific thanks to the stepping into and the confirmation of new data resulting from the neurobiology and the neuropsychology. When a contradiction between verbal information and feelings not openly expressed is experienced, these micro-movements will manifest themselves. Because of this astonishing discovery, every physical gesture will prompt some activity in the brain, therefore eliminating any contradiction through bodily movement. This allows non-verbal communication to be observed in a new semantic field. These micromouvements appear when felt unvoiced comments enter in contradiction with openly expressed information. This astonishing discovery places the body movement as an essential witness of the activity of the mind which clarifies these contradictions by translating them on the body. It makes it possible to observe nonverbal communication in a new semantic field.

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