Mind, Brain and Narrative

Mind, Brain and Narrative

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Narratives enable readers to vividly experience fictional and non-fictional contexts. Writers use a variety of language features to control these experiences: they direct readers in how to construct contexts, how to draw inferences and how to identify the key parts of a story. Writers can skilfully convey physical sensations, prompt emotional states, effect moral responses and even alter the readers' attitudes. Mind, Brain and Narrative examines the psychological and neuroscientific evidence for the mechanisms which underlie narrative comprehension. The authors explore the scientific developments which demonstrate the importance of attention, counterfactuals, depth of processing, perspective and embodiment in these processes. In so doing, this timely, interdisciplinary work provides an integrated account of the research which links psychological mechanisms of language comprehension to humanities work on narrative and style.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 335 pages
  • 154 x 232 x 24mm | 621.42g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New.
  • 7 b/w illus. 3 tables
  • 1107017564
  • 9781107017566
  • 1,545,111

Review quote

'Sanford and Emmott's Mind, Brain and Narrative is the book of the decade for those in the interdisciplinary discourse sciences who appreciate the nuances of multi-layered narrative representation, comprehension, and communication. They discuss scenario-mapping theory, rhetorical focussing principles, and experiential immersion, which are central to a deep understanding of inferences, perspective, emotions, persuasion, figurative language, embodiment, and other phenomena that continue to mystify empirical researchers and literary scholars.' Arthur C. Graesser, University of Memphis 'This book forms an impressive and solid scholarly bridge between the humanities and the cognitive neurosciences from which it offers a broad and in-depth view of narrative comprehension. It is required reading for anyone interested in why stories are important to us and how we understand them.' Rolf A. Zwaan, Erasmus University Rotterdam 'In this ingenious book, Sanford and Emmott bring together decades of research in psychology and literature regarding the effect of language on the mind of the reader.' Mark de Kreij, English Text Construction

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About Catherine Emmott

Anthony J. Sanford is Emeritus Professor and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow. Catherine Emmott is Senior Lecturer in English Language at the University of Glasgow.

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Table of contents

List of illustrations; Foreword; Acknowledgements; 1. Narrative and the rhetorical processing framework; 2. Fundamentals of text processing; 3. Multiple levels: counterfactual worlds and figurative language; 4. Attention in text: foregrounding and rhetorical focussing; 5. Rhetorical focussing and depth of processing; 6. The experiential aspect: using embodiment theory; 7. Narrative perspective and the representation of speech and thought; 8. Hot cognition: emotion, empathy and suspense; 9. Narrative's social impact: persuasion and attitude change; 10. Final comments; Appendix 1; Appendix 2; Bibliography; Author index; Subject index.

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