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The critical role of interference control during novel metaphor comprehension

The critical role of interference control during novel metaphor
Alternative Title
새로운 은유를 처리할 때 간섭 조절의 역할
Hee-Dong Yoon
DGIST Authors
Jeon, Hyeon-AeYoon, Hee-DongChoe, Han Kyoung
Han Kyoung Choe
Issued Date
Awarded Date
metaphor, interference control, familiarity, context, executive function
Use of figurative language such as metaphors enriches our communication and it
requires considerable cognitive efforts for choosing the adequate meaning of words.
Specifically, altering familiarity of metaphors and context in which metaphoric utterance is
used imposes additional processing demands on executive functions. Therefore, we aimed to
investigate the effects of familiarity and context on metaphor processing, emphasizing the
influence of individuals’ executive functions measured by various neuropsychological tests.
Participants read 124 two-sentence pairs in Korean. The first sentence was used as either
supporting or opposing context, while the second sentence had a metaphoric expression in
the form of “X is a Y”. We had four experimental conditions: a supporting context with a
familiar metaphor (SC-FM) or a novel metaphor (SC-NM), and an opposing context with a
familiar metaphor (OC-FM) or a novel metaphor (OCNM). In result, accuracy data showed
main effects in both context (more accurate in OC than in SC) and familiarity (more accurate
in FM than in NM). With respect to response time (RT), we found main effects in both context
(faster in SC than in OC) and familiarity (faster in FM than in NM). More interestingly, we
found a significant correlation between scores of the two inhibition-related
neuropsychological tests (i.e., the Stroop task and the semantic fluency task) and the RTs
during metaphor processing. This indicates that people showing high performance in the
Stroop test, compared to low performers, inhibit conventional meanings of words more effectively when processing metaphors. Taken together, these results suggest that the
interference control mechanisMaster that operate in the Stroop task and the semantic fluency task
play an important role in processing a metaphor by inhibiting its familiar meaning and
choosing a less familiar meaning that is contextually more appropriate.|우리는 일상생활에서 큰 어려움 없이 은유 표현을 사용하지만, 이처럼 상황에 따라 적합한
단어의 의미를 선택해내는 작업은 상당한 인지적 노력을 필요로 한다. 특히, 은유 표현 자체가
우리에게 얼마나 익숙한지, 그리고 그 표현이 쓰인 맥락이 은유의 이해를 얼마나 지지하는지에
따라 요구되는 집행기능의 정도가 달라진다고 알려져 있다. 본 논문은 은유 표현의 친숙도와
맥락의 영향뿐만 아니라 개개인의 집행기능 차이가 은유 처리에 미치는 영향을 조사하였다.
피험자는 맥락을 형성해주는 문장과 은유 표현이 담긴 문장을 순서대로 보게 되었다. 이때, 첫
문장과 두 번째 문장을 조작하여 각각 맥락과 친숙도를 변인으로 설정하였다. 그 이후, 일곱
가지의 신경 심리 검사를 이용해 각 피험자의 집행기능 역량을 파악했다. 저자는 기존 연구들에
근거해 집행기능을 작업기억, 인지 유연성, 그리고 억제로 세분화했고, 나아가 억제를 간섭
조절과 억제 조절로 나누어 분석했다. 본 실험 결과에 따르면, 피험자들은 은유 표현이
익숙할수록, 그리고 앞서 제시되는 맥락이 은유 이해를 지지할수록 반응 속도가 빨랐다. 또한,
실시한 일곱 가지 신경 심리 검사 중 간섭 조절 능력과 관련된 검사인 스트룹 과제와 범주
유창성 검사 점수만 은유 처리 속도와의 상관관계를 보였다. 즉, 이 두 개의 과제에서 높은
점수를 받은 사람들이 은유 처리에 필요한 간섭 조절을 더 효과적으로 수행했다고 볼 수 있다.
따라서, 본 실험의 결과는 여러 집행기능 중 억제기능, 그중에서도 특히 간섭 조절이 은유 처리
과정에서 단어의 적절한 의미를 선택할 수 있도록 도와주는 중요한 역할을 할 것이라는 주장을
지지하고 있다.
Table Of Contents
Abstract ························································································································i
List of Contents ·············································································································· iii
List of Tables ················································································································· iv
List of Figures················································································································ v
I. Introduction ················································································································ 1
II. Methods
2.1 Participants ········································································································ 10
2.2 Experimental Design and Materials ··········································································· 12
2.3 Procedure ·········································································································· 14
2.4 Norming Study ··································································································· 16
2.5 Neuropsychological Tests ······················································································· 18
2.6 Data Analysis ····································································································· 24
III. Results
3.1 RTs and accuracies in the metaphor comprehension tasks ·················································· 26
3.2 Significant correlations between RTs and semantic fluency and Stroop tasks ··························· 27
IV. Discussion
4.1 Influence of interference control on metaphor comprehension ············································ 30
4.2 Manipulation of familiarity and context on metaphor comprehension ···································· 34
V. Conclusion ··············································································································· 38
VI. References ·············································································································· 39
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Related Researcher
  • 전현애 Jeon, Hyeon-Ae 뇌과학과
  • Research Interests fMRI; high-level cognition; brain imaging
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