As a researcher within the MetaCare research framework, I’m interested in investigating how theories of conceptual metaphor and gesture studies may be applied to doctor-patient interactions and discourse in the context of diabetes, through which practical knowledge may be imparted to the stakeholders for more effective communication.
Broadly, my research lies in the intersection of language, culture, and cognition, focusing on multimodal cognitive semiotics and symbolic systems on the one hand, and the socio-anthropological aspects of conceptual blends on the other. One special interest of mine is on theoretical and methodological research of multimodal metaphors (speech, gesture, cultural artefacts) and how this might be applied in other domains, such as in patient-doctor interactions and psychotherapy and forensic interviews in order to better understand the epistemic stance of the speaker (and their “worldview”) and how it is represented in “natural media” (voice, gestures, posture, gaze, usage of personal space, etc.). In this sense, I adhere to an embodied and embedded view of the human mind following contemporary cognitive science.
Previously, I was a researcher in the BlackBox project at FCSH-UNL, responsible for the Multimodal Communication/Linguistics section investigating performing arts from cognitive and ethnographic perspectives. Prior to this, I did post-doctoral research on cognitive semiotics, metaphors, metonymy, gestures and epistemic stance at Humtec – RWTH Aachen University (Germany) with the Natural Media – Gesture lab, teaching Master’s courses in Media Informatics on “Media, Culture and Mind” and “Semiotics and Embodied Cognition in the Digital Age” from 2009-2014. I held a one-year FIIRD fellowship granted by the Foundation for Interreligious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue for research on multimodal cognitive semiotics in relation to religious and spiritual thought at the University of Geneva (Switzerland). I was also lecturer at the University of Palermo (Italy), where my doctoral training began, which was also conducted in the USA at the University of California-Berkeley (Linguistics) as visiting researcher and at Case Western Reserve (Cognitive Science) as visiting scholar.