Publication details [#4502]

Faust, Miriam and Sara Weisper. 2000. Understanding metaphoric sentences in the two cerebral hemispheres. Brain and Cognition 43 (1-2-3, June-Aug) : 186–191. 6 pp.


Previous studies indicate that the right hemisphere (RH) has a unique role in maintaining activation of metaphoric single word meanings. The present study investigated hemispheric asymmetries in comprehending metaphoric word meanings within a sentence context. Participants were presented with incomplete priming sentences followed by (literally) true, false, or metaphoric lateralized target words and were asked to decide whether each sentence is literally true or false. Results showed that responses to metaphoric sentences were slower and less accurate than to false sentences when target words were presented to the right visual field (RVF)-LH as well as to the left visual field (LVF)-RH. This suggests that the understanding of lexical metaphors within a sentence context involves LH as well as RH processing mechanisms and that the role of each hemisphere in processing nonliteral language is flexible and may depend on the linguistic task at hand. [Copyright 2000 Academic Press] (LLBA 2001, vol. 35, n. 2)