Research Article

Metaphors’ effect on off-line cognition: A preliminary study based on a reaction time task


  • Fatemeh Shafiei Ph.D. Cognitive linguistics, Institute for Cognitive Sciences Studies, Tehran, Iran
  • Habibollah Ghassemzadeh Professor, Ph.D. Developmental Psychology, Department of Psychiatry. Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


The modality of apprehension and processing of metaphorical expressions in comparison with non-metaphorical ones has hitherto captivated numerous researchers in manifold fields of study, such as linguistics, psychology, and cognitive sciences. More specially, metaphors used in a one-sentence paragraph have been the subjects of many studies. However, cognitive functions of structural metaphors haven’t been entirely noteworthy in contrast with non-metaphorical expressions employed in textual context. In this study, the interrelationship between memory and conceptual metaphor in significant cognitive processes has been examined in a textual context. In this respect, the hypothesis, that conceptual metaphor as a value can assist with the recognition and recollection process and incorporate the quintessence of our cerebrations, has been put to test. To evaluate this assumption, the reaction time task is used. Each testable case has been subjected to analysis within two analogous contexts, in a metaphorical and non-metaphorical manner. Afterwards, terms were displayed, and the subjects needed to determine as swiftly as possible whether these vocabularies were exemplified or not. The results indicated that the terms pertaining to the schema and other terms included in metaphorical context would be processed faster than the one with non-metaphorical context. With regard to the obtained data, it seems that the conceptual metaphor generates semantic networks in the mind which will be more accessible to memory upon information retrieval.

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

4 (11)





How to Cite

Shafiei, F., & Ghassemzadeh, H. (2021). Metaphors’ effect on off-line cognition: A preliminary study based on a reaction time task. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 4(11), 139–146.



structural conceptual metaphor, recognition, reaction time, schema, off-line cognition