Figurative language across the lifespan: how do language users make sense of idioms and metaphors?

This project applies psycholinguistic methods (eye-tracking while reading, reaction times) to the study of figurative expressions. The aim is to understand how language users make sense of idioms, metaphors and other non-literal language, focusing on aspects such as familiarity, conventionality, transparency and context, but also looking at individual variables such as cognitive flexibility and working memory. Our studies encompass younger adults and older speakers, as a way of understanding how people make sense of figurative expressions, and how this may change across the adult lifespan. 

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