Metaphor, Recognition, and Neural Process

The American Journal of Semiotics, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 59-80, 1987

14 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2009

See all articles by William L. Benzon

William L. Benzon

Independent

David G. Hays

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 1987

Abstract

Karl Pribram's concept of neural holography suggests a neurological basis for metaphor: the brain creates a new concept by the metaphoric process of using one concept as a filter — better, as an extractor — for another. For example, the concept "Achilles" is "filtered" through the concept "lion" to foreground the pattern of fighting fury the two hold in common. In this model the linguistic capacity of the left cortical hemisphere is augmented by the capacity of the right hemisphere for analysis of images. Left-hemisphere syntax holds the tenor and vehicle in place while right-hemisphere imaging process extracts the metaphor ground. Metaphors can be concatenated one after the other so that the ground of one metaphor can enter into another one as tenor or vehicle. Thus conceived metaphor is a mechanism through which thought can be extended into new conceptual territory.

Keywords: metaphor, Pribram, neural holography, conceptual integration, brain, cognition, poetics

Suggested Citation

Benzon, William L. and Hays, David G., Metaphor, Recognition, and Neural Process (1987). The American Journal of Semiotics, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 59-80, 1987. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1501788

David G. Hays

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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