Publication details [#6520]

Katz, Albert N. 2006. A Hitchhiker's guide to human evolution, the brain, and the processing of language: When it is "stretched" from the literal or expected usage. Metaphor and Symbol 21 (4) : 199–211. 13 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


This article introduces the special issue on the brain and processing of nonliteral and other forms of language in which meaning is "stretched" or deviates from expectations. The introduction consists of 2 sections meant to orient the reader to the articles that follow. The first section is a brief review and commentary on recent research and theorizing into the evolution of the human brain, selected brain structures, and implications that arise for nonliteral language and thought. The second section reviews and comments on recent advances in technology in cognitive neuroscience that increasingly are being brought to bear on questions of how we process a range of language forms that deviate from literal usage. I take the evidence as indicating that normal understanding of nonliteral language is highly interactive, involving multiple parts of the brain and, based on temporal processing in the brain, these interactions occur very early in the processing of a trope. (Albert Katz)