Dr Susanne Schweizer

Dr Susanne Schweizer

Dr Susanne Schweizer

Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow

BSc Psychology, Tilburg University

MSc in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, Maastricht University

PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Cambridge

Research group
Developmental Affective Science Lab

Contact details

Email: Dr Susanne Schweizer

Research Summary

At the Developmental Affective Science Lab we study the role of cognitive, social and affective processes in the development and maintenance of common mental health problems across the lifespan, with a particular focus on adolescence.

We are interested in finding out how these processes all work together. For example, does cognitive capacity influence other processes such as emotion regulation? And how? What does this look like in the brain and how does it change as we get older? 

We also know that peers and social information, such as who likes us and who doesn't, becomes very important during adolescence. More important in fact than at any other time in our lives. In our lab we are exploring how individual differences in the sensitivity to this social information is related to young people's mental well-being and their cognition – even their ability to learn new things.

Adopting a translational perspective, I apply insights from this work in basic developmental cognitive neuroscience to design novel interventions for mental health problems including depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Before establishing the Developmental Affective Science Lab, I worked at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and completed my PhD as a Gates Scholar and later postdoc at the University of Cambridge's MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit.

Research Projects Currently Recruiting

COVID-19 Risks Across the Lifespan

CORAL: COVID-19 Risks Across the Lifespan Take part in our research to help us understand the impact of COVID-19 on people’s wellbeing from the womb to old age. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everyday life around the globe. The CORAL study investigates how these changes have affected people’s wellbeing, their social connections and even their mental abilities. Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on young people, adulthood, pregnancy, and old age will help us predict what support mental health support is needed right now and in the future. To find out more about the study go to: www.thecoralstudy.com. To participate with the chance to win a AUS$100 Amazon gift card click here.

Emotional Brain Study

Emotional Brain Study: The ability to regulate emotions improves from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood. But we still know very little about how this happens. This research project will help us understand how the capacity to regulate our responses to emotional events and information changes with age. You can help us better understand the association between mood and our capacity to regulate our emotions by downloading our Emotional Brain Study app. To do so enter Emotional Brain Study in the Google Play or Apple store and download the app. To find out more about the study go to: https://sites.google.com/view/emotionalbrain/home.

https://www.psy.unsw.edu.au/sites/all/files/banner/Social Sensitivity in Young People Study

The Social Sensitivity in Young People Study: Mental health difficulties are a leading cause of disability in young people worldwide. And we want to find out why. This study explores whether how young people feel and behave in social situations is related to their mental well-being.  To explore this, we are looking for young people between 11-30 years to participate in an online study. Participants who complete all parts of the study (approx. 90 minutes) will receive an AUD$20 online voucher (Amazon or Coles). If you are interested in participating, you can find more information about the study and how to sign-up here.



Schweizer, S., Cohen, Z. D., DeRubeis, R., Hayes, R., Watkins, E. R., Lewis, G., … Dalgleish, T. (2020). For whom does Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy offer superior relapse prevention for recurrent depression than maintenance antidepressant medication: A precision medicine analysis. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/nxth5.

Stretton, J., Walsh, N., Mobbs, D., Schweizer, S., Van Harmelen, A.-L., Lombardo, M., Goodyer, I., & Dalgleish, T. (2018). How biopsychosocial depressive risk shapes behavioral and neural responses to social evaluation in adolescence. https://psyarxiv.com/z2ryj/.


Mirabolfathi*, V., Schweizer*, S., Moradi, A., & Jobson, L. (In Press). Affective Working Memory Capacity in Refugee Adolescents. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. (*shared first-authors)

Fritz, J., Stretton, J., Dahl Askelund, A., Schweizer, S., Walsh, N., Elzinga, B. M., Goodyer, I., Wilkinson, P. O., Van Harmelen, A.-L., (In Press). Resilient adolescents with a history of adversity have normal mood and neural responses to social rejection. Development and Psychopathology.

Schweizer, S., Parker, J., Leung, J., Griffin, C., & Blakemore, S.-J. (2020). Age-related differences in affective control and its association with mental health difficulties. Development and Psychopathology, 32, 329-341.

Schweizer, S., Gotlib, I. H., Blakemore, S.-J. (2020). The role of affective control in emotion regulation during adolescence. Emotion, 20, 80-86.

Krause-Utz, A., Walther, J.C., Schweizer, S., Lis, S., Hampshire, A., Schmahl, C., & Borhus, M. (In Press). Effectiveness of an emotional working memory training in borderline personality disorder: A proof-of-principle study. Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics, 89, 2, 122-124.

Du Toit, S.A., Kade, S.A., Danielson, C.T. Schweizer, S., Han, J., Torok, M., & Wong, Q.J.J. (2020). The effects of emotional working memory training on emotional and cognitive outcomes in individuals with elevated social anxiety. Journal of Affective Disorders, 261, 76-83.

Werner-Seidler, A., Huckvale, K., Larsen, M.E., Calear, A.L., Maston, K., Johnston, L., Torok, M., O’Dea, B., Batterham, P.J., Schweizer, S., Skinner, S.R., Steinbeck, K., Ratcliff, J., Oei, J.-L., Patton, G., Wong, I., Beames, J., Wong, Q.J.J., Lingam, R., Boydell, K., Salmon, A.M., Cockayne, N., Mackinnon, A., & Christensen, H., (2020). A trial protocol for the effectiveness of digital interventions for preventing depression in adolescents: The Future Proofing Study. Trials, 21, 1.

Dolcos, F., Katsumi, Y., Moore, M., Berggren, N., de Gelder, B., Derskshan, N., Hamm, A.O., Koster, E.H.W., Ladouceur, C.D., Okon-Singer, H., Pegna, A.J., Richter, T., Schweizer, S., Van den Stock, J., Ventura-Bort, C., Wymar, M., & Dolcos, S. (2020). Neural correlates of emotion-attention interactions: From perception, learning and memory to individual differences and training interventions. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 108, 559-601.

Schweizer, S., Satpute, A. B., Atzil, S., Field, A., Hitchcock, C., Black, M., Feldman Barrett, L., & Dalgleish, T. (2019). The impact of affective information on working memory: A pair of meta-analytic reviews of behavioral and neuroimaging evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 145, 566-609.

Schweizer, S., Stretton, J., van Belle, J., Calder, A.-J., CamCAN, & Dalgleish, T. (2019). Age-related decline in positive emotional reactivity and emotion regulation in a population-derived cohort. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience, 14, 623-631.

Schweizer, S., Leung, J. T., Kievit, R., Speekenbrink, M., Tender, W. R., Hampshire, A., & Blakemore, S. (2019). Protocol for an app-based affective control training for adolescents. Wellcome Open Research, 3.

Askelund, A. D., Schweizer, S., Goodyer, I., & van-Harmelen, A.-L. (2019). Positive memory specificity is associated with reduced vulnerability to depression. Nature Human Behaviour, 3, 265-273.

Schweizer, S., Leung, J., Kievit, R., Speekenbrink, M., Trender, W., Hampshire, A., Blakemore, S.-J. (2019). Protocol for an app-based affective control training for adolescents: proof-of-principle double-blind randomized controlled trial. Wellcome Open Research.

Gomez De La Cuesta, G., Schweizer, S., Diehle, J., Young, J., & Meiser-Stedman, R. (2019). The relationship between maladaptive appraisals and posttraumatic stress disorder: A meta-analysis. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 10, 1620084.

Fuhrmann, D., Schweizer, S., Leung, J., Griffin, C., & Blakemore, S.-J. (2019). The neurocognitive correlates of academic diligence in adolescent girls. Cognitive Neuroscience, 10, 88-99.

Schweizer, S., Kievit, R. A., Emery, T., Cam-CAN, & Henson, R. N. (2018). Symptoms of depression in a healthy population are associated with subjective memory complaints and memory performance in negative contexts. Psychological Medicine, 4, 104-114.

Schweizer, S., Navrady, L., Breakwell, L., Howard, R., Golden, A.-M., Werner-Seidler, A., & Dalgleish, T. (2018). Affective enhancement of working memory is maintained in depression. Emotion, 18, 127-137.

Werner-Seidler, A., Hitchcock, C., Bevan, A., McKinnon, A., Gillard, J., Dahm, T., Chadwick, I., Panesar, I., Breakwell, L., Mueller, V., Rodrigues, E., Rees, C., Gormley, S., Schweizer, S., Watson, P., Raes, P., Jobson, L., & Dalgleish, T., (2018). A cluster randomized controlled platform trial comparing group MEmory specificity training (MEST) to group psychoeducation and supportive counselling (PSC) in the treatment of recurrent depression. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 105, 1-9.

Schweizer, S., Samimi, Z., Hasani, J., Moradi, A., Mirdoraghi, F., & Khalegh, M. A., (2017). Improving cognitive control in adolescents with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Behaviour Research and Therapy, 93, 88-94.

Dalgleish, T., Walsh, N., Mobbs, D., Schweizer, S., van Harmelen, A.-L., Dunn, B., Goodyer, I., & Stretton, J. (2017). Social pain and social gain in the adolescent brain: A common neural circuitry underlying both positive and negative social evaluation. Scientific Reports, 7, 42010.

Gadeikis, D., Bos, N., Schweizer, S., Murphy, F., & Dunn, B. (2017). Engaging in an experiential processing mode increases positive emotional response during recall of pleasant autobiographical memories. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 92, 68-76.

Kuyken, W., Warren, F. C., Taylor, R. S., Whalley, B., Crane, C., Bondolfi, G., Hayes, R., Huijbers, M., Ma, H., Schweizer, S., Segal, Z., Speckens, A., Teasdale, J., Van Heering, K., Williams, M., Byford, S., Byng, R., & Dalgleish, T. (2016). Efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in prevention of depressive relapse: An individual patient data meta-analysis from randomized trials. JAMA Psychiatry, 73, 565-574.

Schweizer, S., Walsh, N., Stretton, J., Dunn, V., Goodyer, I., & Dalgleish, T. (2016). Enhanced emotion regulation and its neural substrates in adolescents exposed to moderate childhood adversity. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11, 272-281.

Schweizer, S. & Dalgleish, T. (2016). The Impact of Affective Contexts on Working Memory Capacity in Healthy Populations and in Individuals with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Emotion, 16, 16-23.

Dalgleish, T., Goodall, B., Chadwick, I., Werner-Seidler, A., McKinnon, A., Morant, N., Schweizer, S., Panesar, I., Humphreys, A., Watson, P., Lafortune, L., Smith, P., & Meiser-Stedman, R. (2015). Trauma-focused cognitive behaviour therapy versus treatment-as-usual for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in young children aged 3-8 years: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 16, 116.

Dalgleish, T., Bevan, A., McKinnon, A., Breakwell, L., Mueller, V., Chadwick, I., Schweizer, S., Hitchcock, C., Watson, P., Raes, P., Jobson, L., & Werner-Seidler, A (2014). A comparison of MEmory Specificity Training (MEST) to education and support (ES) in the treatment of recurrent depression: Study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled. Trials, 15, 293.

Schweizer, S., Grahn, J., Hampshire, A., Mobbs, D., & Dalgleish, T. (2015). Emotional working memory training improves affective control. Biological Psychiatry, 77, S292.

Schweizer, S. (2013). Affective working memory training: Insight from training studies. Psychophysiology, 50, S7.

Schweizer, S. & Dalgleish, T. (2013). What are the critical ingredients of affective working memory training? Comment on Engen & Kanske (2013). Journal of Neuroscience, 33 (30), 12152-12153.

Schweizer, S., Grahn, J., Hampshire, A., Mobbs, D., & Dalgleish, T. (2013). Training the emotional brain: Improving affective control through emotional working memory training. Journal of Neuroscience, 33 (12), 5301-5311.

Feldmanhall, O., Dalgleish, T., Thompson, R., Evans, D., Schweizer, S., & Mobbs, D. (2012). Differential neural circuitry and self-interest in real vs hypothetical moral decisions. Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 7, 743-751.

Schweizer, S., Hampshire, A., & Dalgleish, T. (2011). Expanding brain-training to the affective domain: Increasing cognitive and affective executive control through emotional working memory training. Public Library of Science One, 6, e24772.

Schweizer, S., & Dalgleish, T. (2011). Emotional working memory capacity in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Behaviour Research and Therapy, 49, 498-504.

Aldao, A., Nolen-Hoeksema, S. & Schweizer, S. (2010). Emotion regulation strategies across psychopathology: A meta-analytic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 217-237.

Schweizer, S., Peeters, F., Huibers, M., Roelofs, J., Arntz, A., & Van Os, J. (2010). Reasons for depression: Do they affect patients’ treatment choice? Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy. 17, 418-426.

Winkel, F.W., Schweizer, S., & Pemberton, A. (2010). Victim offender dialogue: An analogue study examining the impact of apology on anger. Acta Criminologica, 23, 1-13.

Mobbs, D., Yu, R., Meyer, M., Passimonti, L., Seymour, B., Calder, A., Schweizer, S., Frith, C., & Dalgleish, T. (2009). A key role for similarity in vicarious reward. Science, 324, 900-901.

Dalgleish, T., Yiend, J., Morant, N., Schweizer, S. & Dunn, B.D. (2009). Ironic effects of emotion suppression when recounting distressing memories. Emotion. 9, 744-749.


Schweizer, S. (2016). Bringing emotion (science) into the clinic. [Review of the book Emotion in therapy: From Science to Practice, by S. Hofmann]. PsycCRITIQUES, 61.