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date: 21 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter covers the underlying neurobiology of metaphor and idiom comprehension. The topic has gained interest in many different research fields. For decades, it has been claimed that clinical populations may have a selective deficit in metaphor comprehension, including patients with damage to the right hemisphere of the brain and those with disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. The majority of research has been focused on these disorders, but some studies have investigated other conditions, including dementias, William’s syndrome, depression, traumatic brain injury, relational aggression, schizotypal personality traits, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)), and other developmental disorders. Paradigms on metaphor and idiom comprehension are also used as clinical and research tools to investigate embodiment and motor language, social cognition, aphasia, intelligence, and coverbal gestures. It is therefore not surprising that the number of studies on the neural correlates of these forms of communication has consistently increased, especially within the last 10 years. This chapter reviews the functional magnetic resonance imaging studies on metaphor and idioms.

Keywords: metaphor, idiom, figurative language, proverb, metonymy, speech, comprehension, social cognition, emotion

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