Figurative Language Comprehension in Schizophrenia and Its Neural Basis

  •  Heben Cheng    


Schizophrenia is a kind of serious mental disease, which may cause major impairment in patients’ social-cognitive ability. It has been found that pragmatic ability in schizophrenic patients is often impaired, especially for figurative language comprehension. Figurative language refers to irony, metaphor, idiom and the like. People with schizophrenia tend to interpret figurative language as its literal meaning, which is called schizophrenic concretism. By reviewing extant literature, we found that the literature concerning this topic mainly consists of two parts: behavioral studies and brain-imaging studies. The behavioral studies mainly explore how clinical factors and cognitive ability have an impact on figurative language comprehension. Brain-imaging studies mainly discuss hemisphere lateralization in schizophrenia and whether theory of mind network in schizophrenic patients is different from that of normal groups. We conclude that future research should further explore the relationship among figurative language comprehension, cognitive ability and clinical factors, and also reveal related neural mechanism.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.