top of page

Sensory, physical, metaphors and research

The important and fascinating book of Professor Talma Lobel, one of the leading psychologists in the world in the field of social development. The book demonstrates, through a variety of up-to-date research, the connection between the external influences on the senses and perception and the development of metaphors and abstract concepts.

The line of thought and research presented in Professor Lobel's book is consistent with the theoretical basis on which color psychotherapy developed. The fascinating research findings she presents allow for the expansion of insights into how the sensory-perceptual-emotional-cognitive interventions of color psychotherapy work, and why their impact is so profound. Research findings presented in the book provide evidence that the brain processes metaphors in the same areas where it "feels" or identifies a particular sensory input.

"Even the tallest building starts with foundations and is built on them layer by layer, floor after floor and floor after floor. In a similar process, the development of the meaning of these concepts in children is directly related to the physical sensations behind them. Children learn concepts through physical sensory experiences. They learn that certain physical sensations are smooth, such as the touch of their mother and the fur of their teddy bear, while other sensations are hard. These sensations function as scaffolding on which abstract concepts are built. The process is very similar to creating a mental folder with a specific name – 'softness' – into which every emotional experience is inserted together with the appropriate physical sensation. When we grow up, touch sensations – such as roughness, smoothness, and softness – evoke in us emotions related to those earlier sensory experiences. By doing so, they influence our behavior, emotions, and judgments. We seem to be reading the contents of the old folder in our soul and acting accordingly."


                   From the chapter "Why texture is important", p. 379


bottom of page