CORDIS - EU research results

Immersive Metaphoric Experiences for Well-Being

Project description

IMSquared: Interactive metaphoric experiences for well-being

Our thoughts are often metaphorical and can influence our behaviour and emotions. This is in accord with cognitive science research and conceptual metaphor theory showing that abstract thinking is grounded in physical experience. Various spatial metaphors are associated with our conception of health and wellness. However, there is lack of systematic research on modelling metaphorical mapping and its reflections on the body. The EU-funded IMSquared project will fill this gap by providing a repository of interactive metaphoric experiences (IMMEs) aimed at restoring mental and physical wellness in tandem. It will also provide a brain-body-media computer interface and toolkit to extract features with therapeutic potential. Together these advances will lead to a deeper understanding of the role of interactive metaphor in recovery, particularly in the treatment of depression during neurorehabilitation and physical therapy.


The goal of IMSquared (IM2) is to develop and validate a repository of immersive metaphoric experiences (IMMEs) aimed at restoring physical and emotional wellness in tandem and to provide a brain-body-media computer interface (BBMCI) and toolkit that facilitates visual-gestural interaction, neural-behavioral analysis, generation and optimization of IMMEs with implications for physical therapy (neurorehabilitation) and commercial therapeutic applications. The development and validation of IMMEs will draw on state-of-the-art research across cognitive science/AI, cognitive neuroscience, and computational linguistics looking at the embodiment, neural coding, and the psychological reality of various conceptual metaphors relating to wellness and health. According to conceptual metaphor theory, abstract concepts are structured through cross-domain mappings with more concrete domains due to co-occurrences between these concepts during development. For example, our experience with upward motion becomes associated with well-being (e.g. getting up in the morning), while downward motion becomes associated with ill-being (e.g. lying down when sick), leading us to conceptualize good and bad things in terms of verticality (e.g. “lifting her spirits”, “feeling down”). Growing behavioral evidence suggests that much of thought may be metaphorical in nature and that the relevant physical experience can have consequences for emotion and behavior, yet the systematic investigation of conceptual mappings and their embodiment within HCI, particularly involving media-gestural interfaces, in wellness research is lacking. In summary, IM2 paves the way for more neurocognitively-inspired HCI-wellness research influenced by our understanding of minds, brains, machines, and our new abilities to interact with virtual semantic content, transforming our approach to addressing wellness and health during recovery.


Net EU contribution
€ 212 933,76
SE14 6NW London
United Kingdom

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London Inner London — East Lewisham and Southwark
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 212 933,76