Publication details [#12393]

Citron, Francesca M. M. , Jeremie Güsten, Nora Michaelis and Adele E. Goldberg. 2016. Conventional metaphors in longer passages evoke affective brain response. NeuroImage 139 : 218–230. 13 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Amsterdam: Elsevier


We report on a fMRI study where amygdala activation was contrasted in sentences with literal (She is a kind child) and metaphoric (She is a sweet child) language. Metaphors like MORE IS UP or ACTION IS MOTION were presented to participants in naturalistic, mid-range texts. Four activation peaks were detected in the bilateral amygdala when participants read sentences containing conventional metaphors. Additionally, the more metaphoric a story was, the more BOLD signal changes were found in the left amygdala. There is no correlation between metaphoricity and complexity. Overall, our results show that the activation of the amygdala is related, not to language comprehension in general, but to metaphorical language processing.