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I am an associate professor at the Geneva School of Health Sciences and a research and teaching fellow (maître assistant) at the Department of Psychology at the University of Geneva. My team is hosted at Campus Biotech, in the lab of Daphne Bavelier since October 2013.

My fundamental research aims at understanding the links between executive control personality and emotion regulation. This knowledge has theoretical implications for understanding the links between these constructs. It has also practical implications, as it can help us to guide the design of tools and interventions in patients which aim at improving cognitive functions (using adaptive games for cognitive remediation) or some aspects of social functioning (i.e. using VR to maintain the link of hospitalized patients with their families).

My applied research is in the field of digital health and media health. For instance, I am interested in the potential of evidence-based designed tools for delivering adaptive and personalized interventions targeting cognitive remediation. For instance, we are currently assessing the efficacy of a platform we developed to train attention and working memory in patients with cognitive deficits. I am also interested in the potential of mobile technologies (mHealth) for prevention and education in mental health disorders (i.e. covidout.ch). Finally, I am also interested in investigating the impact of digital media on behavior. In particular, I received an Ambizione grant to investigate the link and the impact of action video games on various dimensions of social behavior, personality and mental health status.

My team and I use convergent methods from psychology (peripheral physiology, psychophysics), from neuroscience (fMRI/PET brain imaging) and from Game Design (Unity 3D Game engine) with a strong concern for research quality, reproducibility, and open research. Besides this, I am also the coordinator of the research focus on Emotions, video-games and virtual reality hosted at the Swiss center for affective sciences at the Campus Biotech.


News:

- February 2021: The fantastic students I work with completed a feasibility RCT study of our attention training platform Eco-Rescue. This feasibility study ran during the pandemic and in collaboration with the lab of Tomer Shechner at the University of Haifa, was a much-needed step to ensure that a training study could be ran from home.

- 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



 
As players progress in the game, they learn to spot emotional or colored objects efficiently, while challenging divided attention and adapting dynamically pacing (game's rapidity) to match subjects' performance


Scoring table at the end of each level providing feedback on performance
 
As players progress in the game, they decontaminate planets - moreover, the more points they get, the more greenery the can buy to re-flourish the planets they visit :)

Contact:
swann.pichon [zu] hesge.ch
Geneva School of Health Science

Campus Biotech, bât. H8-2
FPSE - University of Geneva
Chemin des Mines 9, Case postale 60, 1211 Geneva 20
Phone/Fax: +41 22 37 90 291 / +41 22 37 99 020