New course on metaphor and dream


Starting on January 24th, a new course will be held at Associazione Psicoanalisi Pisa, on metaphor and dream. The language of the course will be Italian.

Instructors will be dott. Roberto Bichisecchi, psychoanalyst, psychotherapist, and president of the Association for psychoanalysis in Pisa, and dott. Marianna Bolognesi, PI at Metaphor Geeks.

In the programme of the course (here in pdf) can be foud the contact details to request further information to the organizers.


Posted November 8, 2014

Metaphors in the Chronicles


Dr. Michael Chorost, an American book author, essayist, and public speaker, has recently wrote an article for The Chronicles of Higher Education, about metaphors and the brain. A few months ago Michael had interviewed Marianna Bolognesi and other scientists about the state of art of metaphor studies, neurosciences, and cognitive sciences. We are very proud for having inspired and helped Michael collecting materials for this article!

Posted September 2, 2014

New publication


Metaphors in dreams: where cognitive linguistics meets psychoanalysis.

The first product of the fruitful collaboration with dr. Roberto Bichisecchi will be published in the journal “Language and Pychoanalysis”.

The article can be seen on the first author’s Academia webpage or directly on the journal’s website

Diary of Discoveries

Posted June 29, 2014

VisMet Baby is online


We proudly announce that VisMet Baby, corpus of visual metaphors, is online.

The project is coordinated by dr. Marianna Bolognesi, in collaboration with the Metaphor Lab research assistant Esther van den Berg, and the VisMet research assistant, Romy van den Heerik. The project is supervised by prof Gerard Steen, director of the Metaphor Lab at VU University, Amsterdam.

The corpus can be browsed here


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Posted June 18, 2014

Visiting grad student


Angela Tramontelli, former summer student at ICIE, and current grad student at NC State University (USA) will visit this summer our Lab for a short stay (5 weeks). The purpose of her visit is to strengthen her Fulbright proposal to apply for a 2015/2016 Fulbright research grant.  As Angela says: “The broad goal of my research is to assess how language can be used as a tool to promote intercultural skills development in study abroad students”.

Angela will survey American students in Siena and conduct interviews to assess students’ involvement and experiences with service learning and other community engagement activities to explore a possible link between their language use attitudes, personality factors, and intercultural skills, to be then correlated with the quantitative survey data.

The emergence and use of metaphors in foreign language as well as in the students’ intercultural reflections will be a crucial point of investigation in Angela’s inquiry.


Posted June 4, 2014

New publication coming soon


Soon an article in Italian will be published in “Quaderni di Psicoterapia Comparata“.


Co-authored by Marianna Bolognesi and Roberto Bichisecchi, this is a first investigation about the function and possible interpretations of metaphors that appear in dreams, and that are reported to the therapist during therapy sessions.

A new project is in preparation, within this branch of metaphor studies. In collaboration with the Association for Psychoanalysis in Pisa, Italy, we are going to develop a series of seminars targeted to psychologists and psychoterapists, aimed at presenting in a critical perspective the traditional and the latest achievements in dream theory, and how the contemporary metaphor theories can be integrated with them. More info soon!

Posted May 24, 2014

RaAM conference approaching


10th Conference of the Association for Researching and Applying  Metaphor

Cagliari, June 20-23, 2014

Metaphor Geeks will be there, with a poster showing the first results of our project about the function of creative metaphors in architecture and interior design (dr. Marianna Bolognesi, dr. Elena Giunta, dr. Agnese Rebaglio). Moreover, a demo version of the VisMet project (corpus of visual metaphors, dr. Marianna Bolognesi, prof Gerard Steen) will be shared and illustrated to the conference delegates. Go RaAM!!


Posted March 10, 2014

New materials for VisMet

The Metaphor Lab research assistant, Esther van den Berg, and the VisMet research assistant Romy van den Heerik have been involved in the VisMet project, to help the project coordinator, Marianna Bolognesi, with the implementation of the corpus.

New materials have been collected, ranging from advertisements to artworks and political cartoons. Below, a few examples of items that will be included in the corpus. On the other hand, also the process for acquiring reprinting permissions from the copyright holders is proceeding well.

We hope to release a first version of the corpus (VisMet Baby, containing 500 images) around the end of April. Marco Otte from the Tech Labs (Network Institute, VU University Amsterdam) is currently involved in the implementation of the VisMet website.

BoliganCENSURA2erlich12  Jaksa8 Kuczynski4

Censura.                             La nueva salud                           Duel                                                    Facebook

Artist: Angel Boligan     Artist: Bernardo Erlich         Artist:  Jaksa              Artist: Pawel Kuczynski

Posted January 16, 2014

VisMet project, the first corpus of visual metaphors


An international collaboration between Metaphor Geeks and the Metaphor Lab at VU University Amsterdam.

The funded research project VisMet, coordinated by dr. Marianna Bolognesi and prof. Gerard Steen, aims to investigate the possibility to create a repository of visual metaphors (still images such as those below) that can be accessed by academic researchers under specific regulations, for scientific and educational (non-commercial) purposes. The envisaged repository aims at fulfilling the dimensions of portability that define the reliability of well-established verbal corpora (Bird, Simons 2003).

Project description and workplan.

"what lies under" by Ferdi Rizkiyanto   Kuczynski9  vangelis2

author: Ferdi Rizkiyanto                              author: Pawel Kuczynsky    author: Vangelis Pavlidis

“what lies under”


Posted December 8, 2013

Visual metaphors at University of Turin


The talk that Marianna Bolognesi delivered at Università di Torino last tuesday was attended by the international master students in International development, the Italian master students in Foreign languages education, and Italian Foreign Language acquisition and teaching, and by some PhD students from the humanities department.

The main differences between visual and verbal metaphors were outlined, as well as the status of the scientific literature focused on the visual modality of expression of metaphor. The cultural constraints that characterize visual forms of communication were also addressed during the talk, such as for example how the writing direction influences also the reading of images, and therefore constitutes an important issue to be taken into account when communicating visual messages and using visual metaphors.


Posted November 21, 2013