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It is not enough to understand the literal meaning of speech.
The standard model of figurative language processing--sometimes referred to as the "indirect" or "sequential" view--maintains that the brain initially analyzes passages for literal meaning and, if the literal interpretation makes no sense, then reprocesses the words for access to an appropriate figurative meaning.
In August of 2004 Alexander Rapp's team of German scientists published a report in Cognitive Brain Research titled "Neural Correlates of Metaphor Processing)' They used event-related fMRI technology to detect brain activity in sixteen healthy subjects as they read short, simple sentences with either a literal or a metaphorical meaning.