How metaphors influence semantic relatedness judgments: the role of the right frontal cortex

Stringaris, Argyris, Medford, Nicholas, Giora, Rachel, Giampietro, Vincent, Brammer, Michael and David, Anthony. S (2006) How metaphors influence semantic relatedness judgments: the role of the right frontal cortex. NeuroImage, 33. pp. 784-793. ISSN 1053-8119

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Abstract

We used event-related fMRI (ER-fMRI) to test the hypothesis that metaphors bias cognitive processing of semantic relatedness towards a search for a wider range of associations. Twelve right-handed male
volunteers read a mixture of metaphoric and literal sentences, each sentence being followed by a single word, which could be semantically
related or not to the preceding sentence context. We found that judging unrelated words as contextually irrelevant was associated with increased blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal in the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex in the metaphoric but not in the literal condition. The same region was also activated when subjects endorsed a semantic relation between words and metaphoric sentence primes but not between words and literal sentence primes.
We argue that these results are consistent with the notion of semantic open-endedness, whereby figurative statements bias cognitive processing towards a search for a wider range of semantic relationships compared to literal statements, and thus lend further support to the view that coarse semantic coding occurs preferentially in the right
hemisphere.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Depositing User: Jonathan Williams
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2015 13:44
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 06:57
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/56200

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