We use behavioral, electrophysiological (EEG), and imaging (fMRI) methods to examine the cognitive processes and the neural basis of meaning and language in context. Topics under active investigation include
(1) Figurative language: How do people process metaphorical language? What are the social-affective functions of metaphors? What is the role of metaphor in the embodied views of language?
- Learning science with figurative language (Lai)
- Understanding the emotional content of metaphoric language (Lai)
- Compositional semantics: Insights from idioms (Bulkes)
- Discourse analysis on identity through metaphor in breast cancer narratives (Lai and Bulkes)
(2) Emotion and language: How is emotion encoded in language? How do language activities such as reading give rise to emotion? How do readers’ mood states influence meaning making in language?
- Emoji and social stress in emotionally ambiguous text messages (Armstrong and Pfeifer)
- Processing emotional aspects in non-literal language: Irony and mental states (Pfeifer)
- Emotion language and healthy aging (Ku)
- The representation and processing of expressive content (swearing) (Donahoo)
- Meaning and structure in ambiguous phrases (multiword expressions) (Brown)
(3) Language and thought in bilinguals: Do differences in languages influence how speakers of those languages perceive and reason about the world?
- The influence of verbal aspect on the mental simulation of actions (Katikhina)