Feb 16 2012

The New York Times: Robert Sapolsky, "This is your Brain on Metaphors"

Turns out metaphor, the stuff of literature class and poetry seminars, is real – at least your brain thinks so. Human brains use metaphor in a literal way. In this New York Times opinion article, Stanford University neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky summarizes a series of studies that reveal how metaphor shapes the way that humans perceive and understand the world around us.

Sapolsky makes the point that the same brain circuitry that goes to work when we encounter physical features of the world (like seeing tigers or eating rotten meat) is triggered when we respond to our environment abstractly (evaluating people in job interviews or through the newspaper for example.) This dual nature of brain function gives words great power over our perception.

Link here to read the article.

photo credit NYT. link to NYT’s article This is your brain on metaphors

What exactly is a metaphor?

Interested to read more about how perception shapes reality? Link here to a recent study study from Oxford University on: “The taste of cutlery: how the taste of food is affected by the weight, size, shape, and colour of the cutlery used to eat it”

for more search: consciousnesshappinessmeaning