In Your Mind’s Eye: Looking at the perception and conception of body metaphors

When two people are seeing eye to eye, they’re usually not literally standing face to face and staring at each other. However, new research suggests that hearing the previous sentence would probably activate an area of your brain responsible for the visual perception of body parts. Almost as if you were actually looking at two […]

Do sensory metaphors give language emotional flavor?

Metaphorical sentences may spark increased brain activity in emotion-related regions because they allude to physical experiences … Human language frequently uses physical sensations or objects to refer to abstract domains such as time, understanding, or emotion … “You begin to realize when you look at metaphors how common they are in helping us understand abstract […]

A visual history of human knowledge | Manuel Lima

Metaphors and the organization of information In his talk, Manuel Lima gives us the intriguing story of how the metaphors we use to help us organize information have changed over the course of human history, evolving from chains of being to trees of knowledge to webs of life. He describes the ways in which these […]

Creative metaphors for social change | Arthur Romano

Movement strategist and nonviolence trainer Arthur Romano reflects on 3 creative metaphors for social change – critical mass, critical yeast, and the butterfly effect – drawn from complexity theory and the study of adaptive systems. Critical Mass So when we think about critical mass, we think of that moment after people have been doing work, […]

Our species thinks in metaphors and learns through stories…

“Wherever a story comes from, whether it is a familiar myth or a private memory, the retelling exemplifies the making of a connection from one pattern to another: a potential translation in which narrative becomes parable and the once upon a time comes to stand for some renascent truth. This approach applies to all the […]

Body and mind, synesthesia and metaphor

THE SYNESTHESIA NETWORK | SYNESTHESIA Syn•es•the•sia : NOUN Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which the stimulation of one sense triggers an instantaneous and involuntary experience in another. In other words, it causes two or more senses to cross. People with Synesthesia may be able to “hear” color, or “taste” sound. There are many different […]

Barbara Isanski • Catherine West (Association for Psychological Science) | The body of knowledge: Understanding embodied cognition

The cold shoulder. A heavy topic. A heroic white knight. We regularly use concrete, sensory-rich metaphors like these to express abstract ideas and complicated emotions. But a growing body of research is suggesting that these metaphors are more than just colorful literary devices — there may be an underlying neural basis that literally embodies these […]