Publication details [#9714]

Schmidt, Gwen L., Casey J. DeBuse and Carol A. Seger. 2007. Right hemisphere metaphor processing? Characterizing the lateralization of semantic processes. Brain and Language 100 (2) : 127–141. 15 pp.
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Previous laterality studies have implicated the right hemisphere in the processing of metaphors, however it is not clear if this result is due to metaphoricity per se or another aspect of semantic processing. Three divided visual field experiments varied metaphorical and literal sentence familiarity. We found a right hemisphere advantage for unfamiliar sentences containing distant semantic relationships, and a left hemisphere advantage for familiar sentences containing close semantic relationships, regardless of whether sentences were metaphorical or literal. This pattern of results is consistent with theories postulating predominantly left hemisphere processing of close semantic relationships and predominantly right hemisphere processing of distant semantic relationships. (Gwen Smith, Casey DeBuse, and Carol Seger)