NPR's Jon Hamilton reported on scientists who have been studying how the brain responds to words. What they have found is quite revealing:
"They found something totally surprising," Bergen says. "It's not just certain specific little regions in the brain, regions dedicated to language, that were lighting up. It was kind of a whole-brain type of process."
If someone read a sentence like, "the shortstop threw the ball to first base," parts of the brain dedicated to vision and movement would light up, Bergen says. "The question was, why?" he says. "They're just listening to language. Why would they be preparing to act? Why would they be thinking that they were seeing something?"
Hear the entire story: Imagine A Flying Pig: How Words Take Shape In The Brain