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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Commun Sci Disord. 2009;14(4): 484-494.
Metaphor Comprehension in Adults with Right-hemisphere Brain Damage: Some Effects of Task Presentation Conditions
Sung-Hee Lee` , Jongah Lim` , and Mina Hwang`
Copyright ©2009 The Korean Academy of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
이성희(Sung-Hee Lee)| 임종아(Jongah Lim)| 황민아(Mina Hwang)
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ABSTRACT

Background & Objectives
In the present study, we investigated the comprehension of metaphoric sentences in adults with right-hemisphere brain damage (RHD) in three experimental conditions: one visuo-verbal condition and two verbal conditions, including verbal with context and verbal without context.
Methods
Twelve RHD adults and twelve normal subjects participated in this study. Under all three experimental conditions, the subjects listened to a list of metaphoric sentences. For each sentence, they were given three choices of interpretation, including a metaphoric interpretation, a literal interpretation, and an irrelevant interpretation. The subjects were asked to choose the most appropriate interpretation for each metaphoric sentence. The three choices of interpretation were presented as pictures under the visuo-verbal condition, and verbally under the two verbal conditions. The two verbal conditions differed in terms of whether the metaphoric sentence was preceded by a sentence that provided context for the metaphoric meaning.
Results
A two-way ANOVA of group(2) × condition(3) revealed significant main effects of group and condition and a significant interaction between group and condition. The total number of correct metaphorical responses was significantly lower in the RHD adults relative to the normal adults. Although such a tendency was observed in all three conditions, the RHD adults showed greatest difficulty in comprehending metaphoric sentences under the visuo-verbal condition, as they tended to interpret the metaphoric sentences literally. Their performance was markedly better under the verbal with context condition than the other conditions.
Discussion & Conclusion
RHD adults appear to experience difficulty in metaphor comprehension. However, their tendency for literal interpretation of metaphoric sentences varied depending on how the metaphoric sentences and possible meanings were presented. They were able to utilize contextual information in comprehending the metaphoric sentences. Contextual information for metaphors may facilitate metaphor comprehension for RHD adults.
Keywords: 우반구 뇌손상 성인 | 은유이해 | 문맥 adults with right-hemisphere brain damage (RHD) | comprehension of metaphor | context
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