Role of implicit learning abilities in metaphor understanding - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Consciousness and Cognition Year : 2018

Role of implicit learning abilities in metaphor understanding

Luc Drouillet
  • Function : Author
Nicolas Stefaniak
Christelle Declercq
Alexandre Obert


Although the use of metaphors is a central component of language, the processes that sustain their comprehension have yet to be specified. Work in the fields of both metaphors and implicit learning suggests that implicit learning abilities facilitate the comprehension of metaphors. However, to date, no study has directly explored the relationships between the understanding of metaphors and so-called implicit learning tasks. We used a meaning decision task comparing literal, metaphorical and meaningless expressions to assess metaphor understanding and a probabilistic serial reaction time task for assessing implicit learning. Our results show that implicit learning positively predicts the time gap between responses to literal and metaphorical expressions and negatively predicts the difference between metaphorical and meaningless expressions. Thus, when confronted with novel metaphors, participants with higher implicit learning abilities are better able to identify that the expressions have some meaning. These results are interpreted in the context of metaphor understanding and psycholinguistic theories.


Fichier principal
Vignette du fichier
Drouillet.2018.pdf (519.28 Ko) Télécharger le fichier

Dates and versions

hal-01916569 , version 1 (27-06-2019)



Luc Drouillet, Nicolas Stefaniak, Christelle Declercq, Alexandre Obert. Role of implicit learning abilities in metaphor understanding. Consciousness and Cognition, 2018, 61, pp.13 - 23. ⟨10.1016/j.concog.2018.03.015⟩. ⟨hal-01916569⟩


61 View
340 Download



Gmail Facebook X LinkedIn More