Advantages Of Figurative Language

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Figurative language is by using metaphors, irony or sarcasm to bring across the desired meaning without the use of literal language. Studies have used conventional and novel forms of non-literal language to test participants; former being common uses of metaphor such as “Time is money.”, whereas the latter is newly produced during situations which require the perceiver to process more carefully to catch the actual meaning. The neurological study of figurative language indicated the left hemisphere is highly involved, which is also the dominant mechanism of processing basic language. The right hemisphere has also shown to make a significant contribution to semantic processing, including non-literal language (Brownell et al., 1990; Winner & Gardner,…show more content…
An advantage of using fMRI is that it has an excellent spatial resolution, meaning the fMRI has the capability to show the complete neural network of the brain when participants are undergoing the given tasks. This would be helpful in accurately verifying the localised areas of brain activity by comparing blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) images. On the other hand, fMRI has poor temporal resolution, the BOLD signals increase around 5 seconds after neuronal firing. This could limit data findings if it is required to measure fast response time. Another weakness of the fMRI is results can be confusing to interpret. Certain areas of the brain are thought to be associated with different functions. For example, the basal ganglia is responsible for motor functions but studies have shown the basal ganglia is associated with a subset of figurative language (Speedie, Wertman, T’air, & Heilman, 1993). Shibata et al. (2007) mentioned that due to the poor temporal resolution of fMRIs, it is difficult to interpret if metaphor processing starts with validating semantic deviation followed by semantic coherence or if the processes are performed concurrently. This issue has to be clarified using other techniques with better temporal…show more content…
PET scans are interpreted by subtraction analysis; this involves a subject to perform two tasks. In this scenario, the subject may be asked to read out two given stimulus. During this process, two scans will be taken and compared by analysing the activated brain areas. PET scans have similar pros and cons to fMRI, with good spatial resolution and poor temporal resolution. A weakness of PET scans is that a subject can only be tested for a limited amount of times due to harmful radioactive exposure. There are not many studies done on figurative language using PET scans for it is expensive to test, PET scans are also commonly used in detecting diseases instead of analysing brain functions. Most researchers prefer using fMRI or EEG when it comes to functional neuroimaging
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