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Old June 25th, 2014 #1
N.B. Forrest
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N.B. Forrest
Default Taste Metaphors Emotionally Engage the Brain

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So accustomed are we to metaphors related to taste that when we hear a kind smile described as "sweet," or a resentful comment as "bitter," we most likely don't even think of those words as metaphors. But while it may seem to our ears that "sweet" by any other name means the same thing, new research shows that taste-related words actually engage the emotional centers of the brain more than literal words with the same meaning.

Researchers from Princeton University and the Free University of Berlin report in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience the first study to experimentally show that the brain processes these everyday metaphors differently than literal language. In the study, participants read 37 sentences that included common metaphors based on taste while the researchers recorded their brain activity. Each taste-related word was then swapped with a literal counterpart so that, for instance, "She looked at him sweetly" became "She looked at him kindly."

The researchers found that the sentences containing words that invoked taste activated areas known to be associated with emotional processing, such as the amygdala, as well as the areas known as the gustatory cortices that allow for the physical act of tasting. Interestingly, the metaphorical and literal words only resulted in brain activity related to emotion when part of a sentence, but stimulated the gustatory cortices both in sentences and as stand-alone words.
This should be understood by all of us and put to use as a powerful tool of subliminal persuasion.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0625141231.htm
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brain science, effective rhetoric, emotion, subliminal persuasion, taste metaphors

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