ERIC Number: EJ784473
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Right Hemisphere Sensitivity to Novel Metaphoric Relations: Application of the Signal Detection Theory
Mashal, N.; Faust, M.
Brain and Language, v104 n2 p103-112 Feb 2008
The present study used the signal detection theory to test the hypothesis that the right hemisphere (RH) is more sensitive than the left hemisphere (LH) to the distant semantic relations in novel metaphoric expressions. In two divided visual field experiments, sensitivity (d') and criterion ([beta]) were calculated for responses to different types of word pairs. In the first experiment, subjects were presented with unfamiliar two-word novel metaphoric expressions ("signal") and unrelated word-pairs ("noise"). In the second experiment, literal expressions ("signal") and unrelated word pairs ("noise") were presented. In line with the Coarse Semantic Coding Theory [Beeman, M. (1998). Coarse semantic coding and discourse comprehension. In: M. Beeman & C. Chiarello (Eds.). "Right hemisphere language comprehension: Perspectives from cognitive neuroscience." Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, pp. 255-284.] as well as with the Graded Salience Hypothesis [Giora, R. (2003). "On our mind: Salience, context and figurative language." New York: Oxford University Press.], the findings suggest that the RH is more sensitive than the LH to unfamiliar metaphoric relations. Furthermore, this RH advantage in processing distant semantic relations did not extend to familiar semantic relations.
Descriptors: Brain Hemisphere Functions, Semantics, Figurative Language, Language Processing, Semiotics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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