International Summer School in Affective Sciences (ISSAS)
Emotions & Well-being
July 7-15, 2022
Chateau de bossey, Switzerland
Dr. Muhammad Syawal Amran
Universiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaWebsite
My name is Muhammad Syawal Amran. I’m an educational psychologist, lecturer and Mind, Brain dan Emotions Researcher by heart. In the past, I have investigated emotion in learning Mathematics and its relationship to concentration and memory among adolescents. The topic fascinates me since it unites two of my main academic interests: 1) Emotions and well-being among adolescents, and 2) Cognitive and brain functions/structures related to brain executive functions. I am especially interested in taking part in the ISSAS 2022 as it gives the opportunity for a critical reflection on the science of emotions and well-being to the present. To think about emotions, well-being and education research is an important practice between the fields undermining a border between science and the real practices.
Ms. Florence Bernays
University of ZurichWebsite
I'm currently exploring the role of emotional fit and what individual-centered interventions could support employees in feeling more in line with how they wish to feel at work. In a second project, I'm exploring whether attributions of charisma induce a cognitive decrement because of the strong emotions they go along with. B.Sc. in Psychology and M.Sc. in Neuropsychology at the University of Zurich.
Ms. Alix Bigot
Université catholique de Louvain (IPSY)Website
My name is Alix Bigot, and I am a French PhD student in psychology since September 2021. I currently live in Belgium, where I am conducting my research project and teaching psychology at UCLouvain. I have always been deeply interested in human functioning, and more specifically in how affective processes can influence social dynamics and well-being. This is why I am dedicating my PhD project to the fine-grained analysis of empathic skills, with the ambition to identify the specific cognitive processes that may underlie the ability to put oneself in someone else's shoes. The main objective of my research is to study these processes in the general population, but also in various clinical populations characterized by social difficulties, using a transdiagnostic approach. I am looking forward to benefiting from the expertise of various researchers on emotions in well-being during this stay
Dr. Bertille De Vlieger
Université de LilleWebsite
I have a PhD in philosophy and I specialise in philosophie of mind. Throughout my PhD (which I concluded on December 14, 2018), I have worked mainly on emotions, sef-knowledge, introspection and consciousness. Since then, my research still lies between philosophy of mind and phenomenology.
Mr. Giona Di Poi
After graduating in graphic design and visual communication, I decided to pursue my social vocation to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities. Consequently, I undertook studies in special education at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). During my studies and professional experience, I developed a strong interest in neurodevelopmental disorders, with a particular emphasis on Autism Spectrum Disorder. One of the central focuses of my interest was the heightened autistic perception (often visual) and logical thinking through abstract concepts, schemas, and pictures, seen as an added value of human heritage. Over time, I gradually realised that the medical paradigm of psychology, often based on deficits and impairments, did not present the adequate means to investigate the complex and resourceful way of functioning of people living on the spectrum. Currently, to counterbalance the gap between deficits and resources, I am investigating the role of positive emotions in this population.
Ms. Regina Ebo
I am a 2nd year Psychology PhD student at University of California, Berkeley. My research interests broadly concern the ways culture, emotions, and empathy are interconnected. The goal is to determine how our cultural worlds impact beliefs and judgments about emotion; the strategies employed to regulate emotions; as well as empathic accuracy and behavior. A current project I’m working on examines the cultural unit of the family. Here I investigate how parents’ emotion beliefs impact their responses to their child’s emotions and in turn how this impacts parent-child relationship and the child’s well-being. Other projects I work on look at the relationship between cultural intersections (race, class, and gender) and the lived experience of specific emotions (shame, pride, etc.).
Ms. Johanna Falk
University of GenevaWebsite
My journey in psychological research started during my Bachelor studies at the University of Luxembourg (Luxembourg), where I worked as a Research Assistant in the psychophysiology laboratory of the Self-Regulation & Health research group. I continued working on the biological underpinnings of human behavior as a Research Assistant and Master Student in the Comparative Psychology research group at the University of Düsseldorf (Germany) until I joined the Geneva Motivation Lab at the University of Geneva (Switzerland) as a PhD Student in November 2019. Here, I work on the interplay between choice, affect, and effort. Using psychophysiological measures, we investigate how the simple act of choosing can protect us against affective influences during action execution.
Mr. Joffrey Fuhrer
University of GenevaWebsite
Hello, I am Joffrey and I am working on the philosophy and psychology of meaning in life, and more broadly, on well-being. When I am not enquiring about human nature, I am reading novels, writing short stories, lifting stuff (powerlifting), or listening to music.
Mr. Alessio Giarrizzo
University of GenevaWebsite
I am currently a doctoral assistant in the field of adult education at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Geneva. I obtained my master's degrees in neuroscience and cognitive and affective psychology in 2019, and I worked, during my basic academic training, on the influence of stress on reward-seeking behaviours with a computational approach at the Laboratory for the study of Emotion Elicitation and Expression of the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, as well as on interindividual differences in motivation in the Geneva Motivation Lab of the Psychology Section. With several teaching experiences in the university environment, I am particularly interested in the affective determinants of adult learning, especially in the positive emotions that can arise in a training setting and their motivational and hedonic outcomes.
Ms. Naïma Gradi
University of GenevaWebsite
My name is Naïma Gradi, I am a psychologist and an ergonomist. I obtained my Master in Cognitive Psychology and Ergonomics in Toulouse in 2018. After that, I pursued my passion for e-sports (video game competition) as a professional gamer for one and a half years before starting to work at the Brain and Learning Lab in Geneva as a Research Assistant in September 2020. I officially began my PhD in Psychology in September 2021, under the supervision of Pr. Daphné Bavelier and Swann Pichon. My thesis project is investigation the potential benefits of a gamified attentional control training compared to casual video game training among typically developed adolescents with anxiety symptoms. This intervention is particularly focusing on the relationship between cognition (especially attention and executive functions), anxiety and emotion regulation.
Ms. Akshita Joshi
Technical University of DresdenWebsite
I, Akshita Joshi, am a third-year Ph.D. student working under the supervision of Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Hummel in Smell and Taste Clinic, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Technical University of Dresden, Germany. I have a master’s degree in Cognitive neuroscience from the University of Rajasthan, India. My interests include well-being, emotions, olfaction, and neuroimaging. The topic of my Ph.D. is “neural associations between well-being and odor perception”. My topic goes in line with the theme of the summer school “Emotions and well-being”. Therefore, I am looking forward to gaining knowledge and skills from this summer school, which I would bring along with me to my group in Dresden. This platform would open up new avenues to collaborate and make scientific contacts with researchers in the field.
Ms. Kseniia Konopkina
I received my Master’s degree in cognitive sciences and technologies from the Higher School of Economics (HSE) in 2019. Since November 2020, I’ve been working in the Human Information Processing Laboratory as a visiting researcher. Later in August 2021, I became a PhD student at Tampere University. My research focuses on understanding behavioral and neurocognitive mechanisms of emotional development. I combine naturalistic stimuli with self-reports, behavioral tests, eye-tracking, ECG, and fMRI methods. I am particularly interested in the relationship between subjective experiences of emotion and its neural basis.
Mr. Nick Menger
Eberhard Karls Universität TübingenWebsite
I’m a PhD student at the University of Tübingen, and have a background in cognitive and computational neuroscience. In my thesis, I take advantage of the unique place of the olfactory system for emotional processing and its neuroanatomical features to (1) explore the neurophysiological underpinnings of appetitive and aversive learning in humans, (2) find more objective methods to diagnose patients with Disorders of Consciousness who may suffer from thalamic pathways lesions while having preserved extra-thalamic olfactory pathways. To achieve these goals, I employ a range of neurophysiological methods (e.g., EEG, skin conductance, EMG, ECG, respiration) to study the indexes of emotional responses and associative learning during appetitive and aversive conditioning using a variety of pleasant and unpleasant odors as unconditioned stimuli.
Ms. Simina Pitur
Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-NapocaWebsite
I am a Computer Science and a Psychology graduate, with an MSc in Clinical Psychology, and a current PhD student at the Doctoral School in Applied Cognitive Psychology of Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca. As a member of the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory of the same University, I have developed a keen interest in emotion over the years. Initially, this interest led me to investigate links between childhood trauma and psychopathology via emotion regulation, but I have turned more recently to the issue of how language elicits emotions. For my PhD thesis, I am investigating the psychological mechanisms underlying poetry-elicited emotions, and hope to later explore ways in which these mechanisms can be harnessed therapeutically.
Ms. Jeanne Richard
University of Geneva & UniDistance SuisseWebsite
I graduated from the University of Geneva in 2018 with a master’s degree in neuroscience. My master’s thesis focused on emotion regulation and mixed feelings in a population of various body mass indexes. I am currently doing a PhD in neuroscience under the supervision of Prof. Géraldine Coppin and Prof. David Sander. The aim of my thesis is to further investigate the links between obesity and affective and cognitive mechanisms such as inhibitory control, food valuation and emotion regulation.
Ms. Aurelia Lilly Scharmer
Lilly Scharmer is a PhD candidate in the Family Lab in the department of Experimental Clinical and Health Psychology of Ghent University. Her research focuses on understanding emotion dynamics in romantic relationships. More specifically, she investigates the predictive value of couples’ interpersonal affective dynamics for relationship- and individual wellbeing, across cultures (i.e. in Belgian and Japanese couples). Lilly’s PhD is embedded in the RE-connect project, an inter-university research consortium that rethinks emotional connectedness across cultures and contexts and is supervised by prof. dr. Lesley Verhofstadt (Ghent University) and prof. dr. Batja Gomes de Mesquita (KU Leuven). Lilly holds a M.Res. in Clinical and Developmental Psychopathology from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and a B.Sc. in Psychology with Neuroscience from Birkbeck, University of London.
Dr. Tanmay Sinha
My vision, as an educator and lifelong learner, has been to design ways to engage students in authentic, disciplinary experiences that can strengthen their conceptual understanding and transfer. I have an interdisciplinary background in the learning sciences and computer science, with over eight years of experience working in research groups around the world. I am interested in the facilitating role of negative emotions in learning through problem-solving, and more generally, in how scaffolded human and technology interventions may open new opportunities for students to fully reap the benefits of failure-driven exploration. My research agenda has passionately spoken to critical debates in education and challenged traditional conceptions of how we conceive of socio-emotional factors such as curiosity, failure and negative emotions in learning. Working towards this agenda has taken numerous forms ranging from the implementation of observational collaborative learning studies to technology-mediated interventional studies for students in secondary and higher education.
Mr. Nils Robin Sommer
I am Nils Sommer, a PhD-student of psychology at the University of Bern. I do research on emotion competence, specifically emotion recognition ability, and its influence on well-being and quality of social interactions. Last year my supervisor and I ran a daily diary study on the topic and this autumn we will examine it in a laboratory setting. The goal is to investigate why there is such a weak link between emotion recognition ability and well-being. We expect that emotion recognition ability can have both positive as well as negative effects, depending on personality and aspects of the situation.
Ms. Nina Sooter
University of GenevaWebsite
As a PhD student in cognitive neuroscience at the Behavioral Philanthropy Lab in Geneva, I study decision-making and the cognitive, affective, and circumstantial factors that influence it. Using an interdisciplinary approach, I am working on three main projects investigating a) the effects of stress on honesty when lying is economically advantageous, b) whether the use of virtual reality is more effective than on-screen experiences in driving charitable donations and c) the role of the insula in coding surprise and updating learning rates. My research methods include economic games, subjective reports, virtual reality, biophysiological measurements (heart rate, skin conductance, and salivary hormone levels), and deep brain stimulation. Additionally, I have collaborated on the experimental design for a study on exposure to negative tail risk and contributed to a book chapter on behavioral perspectives on B-Corps. I am also very curious about all manner of topics unrelated to my current research.
Mr. Guillaume Soucy
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)Website
I am a PhD student in Philosophy at l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). I have previously completed a master’s degree in philosophy at l’Université de Montréal (UdeM) under the supervision of Christine Tappolet. I work mostly on metaethics, but my thesis project, supervised by Mauro Rossi, will investigate the symmetry between aesthetics and morality from a metanormative perspective. For that reason, I am highly interested in the philosophy of emotions, but I also have interests in normative ethics, political philosophy, and epistemology.
Ms. Tara Srirangarajan
I am a Psychology PhD student and NSF graduate research fellow at Stanford University, advised by Prof. Brian Knutson. Before coming to Stanford, I completed my B.Sc. in Behavioral Neuroscience at Northeastern University. My research interests lie at the intersection of affective neuroscience and neuroeconomics. More specifically, my work focuses on how emotional states drive decision-making and affect real-world outcomes.
Ms. Lina Stallmann
University of FribourgWebsite
I am Lina, PhD student at the Institute of Special Education, University of Fribourg. I came to Switzerland from Germany for my Master's in Psychology in Bern and have since not only met many inspiring people and learnt a lot, but also, not surprisingly, meandered between a range of focus topics: social influence, visual perception, emotion, autism. My PhD project is about how scenarios in virtual reality have the potential to help with the assessment of social interactions in a way we were not able to before - in my case specifically about, whether individuals with autism can benefit from emotional support offered to them by a virtual character, with a view to developing training programs. VR technology has already come so far in the last decades, that I think it is incredibly important to explore all the potential cases in which virtually practicing real-life situations might truly add to and facilitate one's learning processes and participation in society. Speaking of (social) learning, I am so much looking forward to these very non-virtual summer school days.
Mr. Alexander Tagesson
My research focus is on judgement and decision making and I am interested in how emotions affect decision situations and outcomes. At the moment I am particularly interested in compassion and empathy and how regulation of the two affects pro-social and helping behavior. I want to better understand what motivates people to help others and how we motivate people to take action when facing others in need. For example, how is our willingness to empathize affected by facing a large scale human catastrophe, as compared to an individual in need, and how does this affect the decisions we make?
Ms. Selin Topel
I am a PhD student in Clinical Psychology at Leiden University, the Netherlands, since February 2021. My project is a part of the interdisciplinary Social Resilience and Security Program that aims to understand, explain, and improve the well-being of individuals and societies. I am particularly interested in how people process, learn, and make decisions under uncertainty in different contexts. In addition, I am studying how these processes differ in stress-related problems and across development. I obtained by BA in Psychology from Koç University in Turkey, where I am originally from. Later, I completed a Research Master’s in Developmental Psychology at Leiden University. During my studies, I investigated electrophysiological responses to social feedback in relation to social anxiety in young individuals. In my spare time, I like to volunteer for organizations working on projects related to well-being of youth and data science for social good.
Dr. Yung-Ting Tsou
Developmental Psychology, Leiden University, The Netherlands; User-Centric Data Science, Free University Amsterdam, The NetherlandsWebsite
Yung-Ting Tsou is a postdoc researcher at Developmental Psychology, Leiden University. Her research interests lie in on how emotional, social, and linguistic information in the environment is accessed and processed by children with communicative challenges, such as children with autism, hearing loss, or Developmental Language Disorder; and in using a multi-method approach that includes e.g. eye-tracking, psychophysiological measures and smart technology to understand children’s interaction with their social and physical environment. Currently, her research focuses on social inclusion of autistic children at schoolyards, as part of the 'Breaking the Cycle' project. In this multidisciplinary project that involves child psychology, architecture, data science and policy-making, she studies children’s social network at schoolyards, using wearable sensors together with observation, peer nomination, and questionnaires. Besides, she works on a collaborative research coalition 'Smart Societies' between Free University Amsterdam and University of Twente, which aims to create technological solutions for an inclusive, digital society.
Dr. Martine Verhees
I work as a postdoctoral researcher in the research group of Quantitative Psychology and Individual Differences at KU Leuven (Belgium). I obtained my PhD on the topic of attachment variability in middle childhood from KU Leuven in 2019. Under supervision of Prof. Peter Kuppens and Prof. Eva Ceulemans my current postdoctoral research will mainly focus on emotional interdependence and emotion regulation in close relationships and their association with personal and relationship well-being.
Mr. Otto Versyp
I am a first year PhD student at the KU Leuven research group of Quantitative Psychology and Individual Differences. There I am working on a large-scale interdisciplinary and inter-university project (RE-Connect) where we plan on researching emotional connectedness across different domains of everyday life. Using experience sampling research, I specifically aim to study interpersonal affect dynamics in dyads to gain a better understanding of the relationship between emotional connectedness and the etiology, maintenance, and recovery of mood disorders. More specifically how affective disorders are at least partially related to how emotions are exchanged and shared or not shared between people. I am also interested in interactions more broadly (i.e. conversations and conversational structure, language use and speech production).
Mr. Everett Wetchler
University of California, BerkeleyWebsite
Former software engineer / data scientist, current 5th year PhD student in psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Studying happiness, especially the nuances of how social relationships to our well-being.
Ms. Lavinia Wuensch
University of GenevaWebsite
I am doing a PhD in psychology under the supervision of Dr Eva R. Pool and Prof. David Sander, with the aim of better understanding the links between individual differences in emotional learning and vulnerabilities to compulsive reward-seeking behaviors. Specifically, the project I am working on aims to test whether specific learning profiles in Pavlovian and instrumental learning represent vulnerability factors for the development of disorders such as substance abuse, behavioral addictions, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, and to investigate the neuro-computational mechanisms underlying these learning profiles.
Ms. Dominika Zaremba
Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Polish Academy of SciencesWebsite
I am a psychologist, cognitive scientist and a PhD Candidate at the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Warsaw, Poland. I am working in a project “ Understanding patterns of emotional responses to climate change and their relation to mental health and climate action taking” funded by Norway Grants. My research focuses on emotional experiences of climate change - I am particularly interested in how emotions support or hinder climate action taking. After hours, I study to become an ecotherapist and provide psychological consultations for climate activists. Currently, I am preparing a series of experiments that will allow us to figure out how distinct emotions translate into differently framed pro-environmental behaviours. Our results will provide policy-makers with clear and actionable recommendations for creating successful climate change communication.
Dr. Lei Zhang
University of ViennaWebsite
Dr. Lei Zhang is a senior research fellow at the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Unit, University of Vienna, Austria. He studied psychology in China and obtained his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience (summa cum laude) from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany. He has been focusing on the neurocomputational mechanisms of flexible learning and (social) decision-making in both health and disease. For this, he has been using behavioral measurements, fMRI, together with hierarchical Bayesian modeling. He has received the Rising Star Award from the Association for Psychological Science, and the Trainee Professional Development Award from Society for Neuroscience.