Right hemisphere sensitivity to novel metaphoric relations

Mashal, N.

The present study used thesignal detection theory to test the hypothesis that the right hemisphere (RH)is more sensitive than the left hemisphere (LH) to the distant semanticrelations in novel metaphoric expressions. In two divided visual fieldexperiments, sensitivity (d0) and criterion (b) were calculated for responsesto different types of word pairs. In the first experiment, subjects werepresented with unfamiliar two-word novel metaphoric expressions (‘‘signal’’)and unrelated word-pairs (‘‘noise’’). In the second experiment, literalexpressions (‘‘signal’’) and unrelated word pairs (‘‘noise’’) were presented.In line with the Coarse Semantic Coding Theory [Beeman, M. (1998). Coarse semanticcoding and discourse comprehension. In: M. Beeman & C. Chiarello (Eds.).Right hemisphere language comprehension: Perspectives from cognitiveneuroscience. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, pp. 255-284.] as well as withthe Graded Salience Hypothesis [Giora, R.(2003). On our mind: Salience, contextand figurative language. New York: Oxford UniversityPress.], the findings suggest that the RH is more sensitive than the LH tounfamiliar metaphoric relations. Furthermore, this RH advantage in processingdistant semantic relations did not extend to familiar semantic relations. 

Mashal, N., & Faust, M. (2008).

Right hemisphere sensitivity to novel metaphoric relations. Brain and Language, 104 (2), 103-112.


Last Updated Date : 04/12/2022