Poster B70, Sunday, March 26, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Cerebral Asymmetries in Metaphor Comprehension: Examining the Influence of Task
Natalie Kacinik1,2, Kole Norberg1,3; 1Brooklyn College, CUNY, 2The Graduate Center, CUNY, 3Kingsborough Community College, CUNY
Right hemisphere (RH) involvement in comprehending metaphors remains unclear. Most neuroimaging (Rapp et al., 2012; Yang, 2014) and a prior divided visual field (DVF) study (Kacinik & Chiarello, 2007) have found that the RH is generally not more important the LH. However, investigations using brain-lesioned participants (Brownell et al., 1990; Lundgren et al., 2011) or TMS (Pobric et al., 2008; Kacinik et al., 2014 CNS poster) do support the RH as preferentially involved in metaphor comprehension, indicating that RH importance for understanding metaphors may not be fully evident until RH processes have been impaired. Although the studies by Kacinik and colleagues used the same stimuli, the DVF and TMS experiments involved different tasks (lexical decision vs. relatedness judgments, respectively), which may have contributed to the discrepant results. The current study thus involved presenting the same stimuli in a DVF paradigm with lateralized target words and asked participants to deciding whether the word was related to the meaning of the preceding sentence or not. Participants were slightly faster at responding to metaphorically related words in the LVF/RH than the RVF/LH, but the effect was not statistically significant. There was also evidence of a speed-accuracy trade-off since they made more errors to metaphorically related targets in the LVF/RH than in the RVF/LH. These findings, in conjunction with our previous work, suggest that there is normally little to no evidence of preferential RH involvement in metaphor comprehension, but that the potential importance of RH contributions becomes more evident when those processes are disrupted.
Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Semantic