Hippocampus and amygdala: An insight-related network involved in metaphorical solution to mental distress problem

Fei Yu, Jianxin Zhang, Jin Fan, Jing Luo, Wencai Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study was designed to determine whether metaphorical solutions to mental distress problems result in an insightful mental experience and activate the hippocampus and amygdala: areas associated with insight. We recruited 22 healthy university students. Trials presented 75 micro-counseling scenarios while event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was applied to detect neural responses. Each scenario included a mental distress problem and one of the following solution types: metaphorical, literal, or problem-restatement. The results revealed that, compared with literal solutions or problem-restatement solutions, metaphorical solutions activated two neural networks: one associated with basic metaphorical language processing (i.e., the left inferior frontal gyrus and middle and superior temporal gyri), and a specific network associated with insightful problem solving (i.e., the bilateral hippocampus, amygdala, and fusiform gyrus). Our findings indicate that the use of metaphorical solutions to mental distress problems reliably produces salient neural activities for insight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1022-1035
Number of pages14
JournalCognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Amygdala
  • Hippocampus
  • Insight
  • Metaphor
  • Micro-counseling scenario
  • Novelty

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Hippocampus and amygdala: An insight-related network involved in metaphorical solution to mental distress problem'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this