Publication details [#12856]

Nuria, Carriedo, Antonio Corral , Pedro Montoro, Laura Herrero and Iraia Sebastián . 2016. The Development of Metaphor Comprehension and Its Relationship with Relational Verbal Reasoning and Executive Function. PLOS ONE 11 (3).
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The purpose of the present study was to shed light to the nature of the metaphorical mappings. More specifically, the study assumes that metaphor is mainly related to the different relational verbal reasoning (analogical and class inclusion) and to executive functioning, too. This means that understanding a new metaphor without context demands the involvement of relational reasoning and also the involvement of attention processes, which have to do with executive functioning; the latter suppresses inadequate responses and, at the same time, it updates information in Working Memory. The study involves an experiment in order to detect individual developmental differences in metaphor interpretation. The participants had to find an analogy between two words i.e. lemon and sweet and explain a metaphorical expression i.e. "your honey tastes like a lemon. The results showed that in the absence of context, a high level of processing, semantic knowledge and a good level of reading experience are required so as to perform relational reasoning, to activate cognitive inhibition of unrelated information and to update information in working memory.