Perception and Attention

Memory and Thought

Language and Conceptual Systems

Education in Math, Science, and Technology

Foundations of Cognitive Science

The Neural Theory of Language and Thought

The World Color Survey

Learning Complex Motor Tasks

Perceptual Organization in Vision

Metaphors in Language and Thought

Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory and Cognition

Control of Automated Vehicles

Crosslinguistic Studies of Early Language Development

Understanding Explanatory Coherence

Children's Theories of Mind

Spatial Cognition

Neuropsychological Studies of Mind and Brain

Biologically Motivated Computer Vision

Soft Computing

Cognition and Action


Metaphors in Language and Thought


A major effort has been ongoing at Berkeley to understand the nature, structure, and processing of metaphors. This project has benefited from collaborations with a large number of interdisciplinary faculty from other institutions, many of whom have been graduate students or visiting scholars at ICS. Lakoff and Johnson, for example, published a ground-breaking study (Metaphors we live by) that documents the surprising degree to which normal everyday language is, in fact, metaphorical and grounded in the spatio-temporal structure of the human body interacting with its gravitational environment. To pick just one example, the simple metaphor "good is up" explains why we describe good evaluations as "high marks", good moods as "high spirits" or "being up", and so forth. A recent extension has been to explore the degree to which such metaphors are found across languages (including American Sign Language). In addition to linguistic analysis, this project includes substantial input from philosophy, psychology, and computer science. It has also led to a new undergraduate course on Metaphor, CogSci 106. (Professors Lakoff and Sweetser)