Metaphor, Language and A Very Simple Mathematical Formula!

by Mary K. Clark

Ah metaphors! A knight in shining armor. It’s raining cats and dogs. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. We use metaphors all the time, but what is known about how they are processed in the brain?  Jon Hamilton shares some interesting information in Imagine A Flying Pig:  How Words Take Shape In the Brain. He writes:

. . . scientists began testing the language-module theory using “functional” MRI technology that let them watch the brain respond to words. And what they saw didn’t look like a module, says Benjamin Bergen . . .

“They found something totally surprising,” Bergen says. “It’s not just certain specific little regions in the brain, regions dedicated to language, that were lighting up. It was kind of a whole-brain type of process.”

A big thank you to Fran Stallings for bringing the above mentioned article to my attention.  For more information on the topic, Stallings suggests the book, Making Truth: Metaphor in Science by Theodore L. Brown and Caleb Winebrenner recommends The Meaning of the Body: Aesthetics of Human Understanding by Mark Johnson.  Both Stallings and Winebrenner are part of the Storytell Listserv Community.

Now for that very simple mathematical formula for metaphor and an interesting talk entitled, James Geary, metaphorically speaking. He shares on metaphor and its influence on the decisions we make.

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What other interesting resources do you know of with respect to metaphor, language, and storytelling?  Do you have any interesting stories involving metaphor?  Please share!

– Mary

Additional Resources:

Metaphor Making: Your Career, Your Life, Your Way by Norman E. Emundson, review by Carl Leggo (PDF). Thank you to Gail Rosen for sharing this resource.


©Copyright 5/11/2013  by Mary K. Clark.  All Rights Reserved.

Edited 5/11/13 – corrected spelling error.
Edited 5/17/13 – added Gail Rosen’s resource.

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