This study uses EEG to examine the neuronal processing of verbs which reference physical movement in metaphorical and literal contexts. Rhetorical theory suggests that a language rich in imagery supports an especially lively cognitive and affective experience of the content it represents. If this is indeed the case, the activation of neural correlates of action processing should be at least as strong for movement verbs in metaphorical contexts as for movement verbs in literal contexts.
Our study investigates the differences between perception and processing of metaphorical sentences on the one hand and literal sentences on the other using a time frequency analysis. This type of analysis lays the groundwork for an in-depth study of the perceptual, attentional, cognitive, affective, and motivational implications and the neuronal signature of processing movement verbs in metaphors.