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    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Neuropsychologia. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Neuropsychologia, 140, 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2020.107381

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Metaphorical language processing and amygdala activation in L1 and L2

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Article number107381
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>16/03/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Neuropsychologia
Volume140
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished
Early online date12/02/20
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The present study aims to investigate the neural correlates of processing conventional figurative language in non-native speakers in a comparison with native speakers. Italian proficient L2 learners of German and German native speakers read conventional metaphorical statements as well as literal paraphrases that were comparable on a range of psycholinguistic variables. Results confirm previous findings that native speakers show increased activity for metaphorical processing, and left amygdala activation increases with increasing Metaphoricity. At the whole-brain level, L2 learners showed the expected overall differences in activation when compared to native speakers (in the fronto-temporal network). But L2 speakers did not show any distinctive activation outside the caudate nucleus as Metaphoricity increased, suggesting that the L2 speakers were less affected by increasing Metaphoricity than native speakers were. With small volume correction, only a single peak in the amygdala reached threshold for L2 speakers as Metaphoricity increased. The findings are consistent with the view that metaphorical language is more engaging for native speakers but not necessarily for L2 speakers.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Neuropsychologia. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Neuropsychologia, 140, 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2020.107381