Swann Pichon - Behavioral Sciences, Digital Mental Health, Psychology

I am an HES associate professor at the Geneva School of Health Sciences (HES-SO) and an associate research fellow at the Swiss center for affective sciences at the University of Geneva and Campus Biotech.

I am interested in the impact of technologies on behavior and their potential for health prevention and for augmenting interventions in mental health. We address these questions at three levels ranging from applied, translational to fundamental research.

My fundamental research is interested in understanding the links between executive functions, emotion regulation and mental health dimensions such as anxiety. This knowledge has theoretical implications for understanding the links between these constructs. It has also practical implications to guide the design of interventions for improving cognition and exploring the potential of their benefits in mental health functioning.

The translational and applied research we develop targets the domain of mental health. For instance, I am interested in the potential of technology and gamification for augmenting cognitive remediation therapy. We are currently implementing a randomized control trial to assess the efficacy of a gamified platform which trains attention in patients to assess potential benefits in mental health. I am also interested in the potential of mobile technologies (mHealth) for prevention n mental health: together with colleagues from ICM Paris, we developed the webapp www.covidout.ch and www.covidout.fr to propose resources linked to mental health and accompany the adaptations imposed by the covid19 pandemia. I am also interested in investigating the links (and impact of) between video games and behavior & mental health. I received a SNF Ambizione grant in 2013 to probe the impact of action video games on various dimensions of social behavior, and its link with personality and mental health.

My team and I use convergent methods from behavioral sciences (surveys, behavioral experiments, peripheral physiology, psychophysics), from neuroscience (fMRI/PET brain imaging) and from computer science and game design with a strong concern for research quality, reproducibility, and open research.

Besides, I also serve as a member of the executive committee of the Foundation FondaMental Suisse, which supports scientific research in mental health and encourage cooperation between Swiss and French scientists and clinicians.


- January 2022: My colleagues Pr Sebastian Probst (HEdS), Guillaume Chanel (UNIGE) and I are proud to announce that Innosuisse awarded an 1.08 million fr grant to the project we submitted in November 21 with the company Imito. This money will enable the development of an AI-powered mobile application for assisted wound care monitoring and assessment (tissue segmentation, wound recognition), and a platform / serious game for the training of healthcare professionals and carers.

- October 2021: you can view the recording of the online symposium we organized the 14th Sept. 2021: “The Covid-19 Pandemic – A Digital Health Catalyst”, which aimed at highlighting some of the positive effects that the current pandemic is having on the digitization of healthcare.

- February 2021: Proud of my fantastic students who managed to deploy a 2 months training RCT study 100% online from participants' home during the pandemic in collaboration with the lab of Tomer Shechner at the University of Haifa. 👏 👏 👏

- April 2020: Release of covidout.ch and covidout.fr, a web-app which aims at providing information and concrete training tools to help individuals to preserve and take care of their mental health in the context of the current covid-19 pandemic.

- February 2020: Joined the Geneva School of Health Science as an Associate Professor (Haute Ecole de Santé de Genève).

- January 2020: Finally! after one long year of back and forths with reviewers, our paper on emotion perception in action video game players has been accepted for publication in the journal Emotion: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2020-48726-001

- April 2019: Joined the executive board of the Fondation Fondamental Suisse, a foundation which aims at supporting scientific cooperation and international research in mental illnesses.

- September 2018: Glad to learn that our video game "Eco Rescue" targeting attention training in anxiety, was just nominated as one of the 10 finalists in the "Best Educational Game Award" category of the TIGA Games Industry Awards in London in November 2018.

- August 2018: The lab releases the final version of our serious video-game Eco-Rescue (see screenshot below). My students (Aida, Arthur, Giuliano and Tom) are now starting a pilot study to train attention during one month, in individuals with elevated anxiety.

- June 2018: Honored to have been awarded an incentive funding grant from the Swiss Center for affective science to help financing a training study on the serious video game we are developing and which should start in October 2018.

- April 2018: Honored to have been awarded the Accessit Marina Picasso prize and grant from the Foundation AEMD.

- March 2018: Glad to feature as a jury member of the Emotional Games Awards 2018 organized by Erik Geslin and his team at UCO Laval.

- February 2018: Will be starting a lecture on "Peripheral physiologic measures and application to biofeedback" (U. Geneva, FPSE).

- January 2018: Happy to release the beta version of a serious video game designed for Attention Bias Modification. Proud of the work that my students game designers did in the past 2 years (Antoine, Mohamed, Valentin, David, Edwin). Trailer of the game here

- October 2013: Awarded an Ambizione starting grant by the Swiss National Science Foundation


swann.pichon [zu] hesge.ch

Geneva School of Health Sciences