Imagining the human brain – audiovisual metaphors in science television programs

Regina Brückner & Sarah Greifenstein


Over the last years, neuroscience has entered popular culture in a vast spectrum of media formats, science television programs and documentaries. As experimental settings and scholarly thought are complex and discipline-specific, delivering information to a lay audience heavily draws on the use of metaphors, both language-based and multimodal ones. The metaphors elaborated in these programs help explain neuroscientific research methods, and, more importantly, shape a popular knowledge about how the human mind itself works. These audiovisual metaphors can not only be formulated with regard to conceptual metaphor theory, but also need to be regarded within their temporal context, as they are dynamic phenomena, emerging in time. Within the theoretical framework of “multimodal metaphor and expressive movement” developed by Kappelhoff and Müller, we analyse how audiovisuals aesthetically address spectators, how audiovisual metaphors emerge and are dynamically activated within a situated and embodied experience.

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Copyright (c) 2017 Regina Brückner & Sarah Greifenstein

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ISSN 2567-9309

mediaesthetics – Journal of Poetics of Audiovisual Images

Cinepoetics – Center for Advanced Film Studies