Metaphorical Thinking – Express Ideas and Solve Problems

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Metaphorical or symbolic thinking has a close relationship to an individual’s learning capabilities as it determines an individual’s ability to associate the given concept with experiencing outside its environment.

E.g. If a teacher explains the concept of Radioactivity in the class, Metaphorical thinking determines the power of the individual to associate the concept Radioactivity to solid waste decay which is different concepts yet possess a certain degree of similarity.

For every association that Metaphorical thinking initiates, there are neuronal activities in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, the centre of learning.

Greater is the ability of an individual to associate the experience with cognition; more remarkable would be processing the given information processing ability. So, The lack of ability to associate between experience and cognition results in attention deficiency among learners.

The present paper explains that Metaphorical thinking statements during the teaching-learning process increase the brain activity in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which, in turn, enables to promote of the information processing ability of the individuals.



Metaphorical thinking promotes the association between familiar life experience with perceivable information to develop concrete learning (Michaels and Carello (1981).

Therefore, the application of symbolic thinking as a learning tool promotes an individual’s learning ability. The word “learning” has several well-defined meanings as understood by several Psychologists.

For example, Argyris and Schon understood learning as a new knowledge acquired by an individual which would reflect in his/her behaviour occurring repeatedly.

image of a man thinking

Promotion of Metaphorical Thinking on Given Information through Association

Research studies carried out in earlier times showed evidence that Metaphorical thinking impacts the part of the brain responsible for initiating logical reasoning.

Therefore, it promotes problem-solving ability among learners as it stimulates the imagination; generates ideas, concepts, and the ability to think outside the box. (Shinjo & Myers, 1987; Inhoff et al., 1984; McCabe, 1983), pointed out that Metaphorical thinking influences an individual’s interpretation and communication skills.

When the teacher explains the given information by implementing Metaphorical thinking through associations, it helps build cognitive structures during the teaching-learning process, thus bringing harmony in the left and the right. Hemispheres of the brain represented as a simple model.

Metaphorical Thinking and Neurotransmitters

Whenever given information is received as a stimulus promoted through metaphorical thinking through associations. It initiates neuron-neuron communication through synapses synthesising the neurotransmitter nor-epinephrine. Therefore, it is understood that the more the teacher promotes symbolic thinking through associations.

Hence, More would be the frequency of chemical synapses triggering in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. In the prefrontal region, a centre for thinking skills of the brain. One of the functions of nor-epinephrine is to promote learning.

Therefore, it can suggest that promoting the given information through metaphorical thinking statements involving associations stimulates.

The prefrontal region of the brain initiating the neuron-neuron firing through chemical synapses facilitating through the neurotransmitter nor-epinephrine. The overall mechanism of the neurochemistry of learning can explain in the following sequential order.

image of a brain activity

Objectives of the Study

Although, To propose a simple mechanism showing the influence of symbolic thinking on the neuro-Chemistry of learning.

Second: Evaluate teachers’ cognitive ability based on the delivery of content, activity, and assessment.

So, To find the impact of content, activity, and assessment on academic performance of Science.

To find out the impact of symbolic thinking on cognitive structures, it reflects on academic performance.


Metaphorical thinking creates an impact on information processing ability. So this technique enables individuals to possess substantial experience of the information. Symbolic thinking helps individuals in creative problem solving by “thinking outside the box”, meaning divergent thinking.

 Although, Genter & Genter pointed out that Metaphorical thinking enables information processing ability by reflection and communication of complex topics. But, Corpus callosum with 250 million nerve fibres is a centre for transmission of neural data, which connects two hemispheres that process higher-order information with the processing time lying in between 5 to 20 ms depending on synaptic signals.

So, The activation of the corpus callosum could be achieved by practising metaphorical thinking.

Hence, The analysis results indicate that the practice of Metaphorical thinking regularly in the teaching-learning process promotes information processing ability as there is a strong correlation between the components.

Also, you can read our blog on Guide to improve critical thinking skills


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