Metaphorically feeling: Comprehending textural metaphors activates somatosensory cortex

Simon Lacey, Randall Stilla, K. Sathian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


Conceptual metaphor theory suggests that knowledge is structured around metaphorical mappings derived from physical experience. Segregated processing of object properties in sensory cortex allows testing of the hypothesis that metaphor processing recruits activity in domain-specific sensory cortex. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) we show that texture-selective somatosensory cortex in the parietal operculum is activated when processing sentences containing textural metaphors, compared to literal sentences matched for meaning. This finding supports the idea that comprehension of metaphors is perceptually grounded.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-421
Number of pages6
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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