Yacila Deza-Araujo, PhD


post-doctoral researcher in the project Medit-Ageing

Silvia Fuertes Marraco, PhD


Mediator & researcher, external collaborator

Email : fmsilvia@yahoo.es

The impact of mediation on the affect exchange during conflictual dialogues

Emotions and feelings drive and regulate our relationships to others. As such, affects are at the core of conflict settlement and thus key to conflict resolution. Yet, we know very little on how exactly do methods of conflict resolution influence interpersonal affect exchange. In this research axis, we aim to understand the impact that a mediator may have on the affects exchanged between people having a conflictual dialogue.

As a model, we study romantic partners that discuss a conflictual topic of their choice and apply methods to annotate affects and extract the quality, intensity, and longitudinal dynamics of their affect exchange. The aim is also to assess whether there are different qualities of mediator intervention, and whether these qualities correlate with particular outcomes in the dialogue.

Since march 2020, I am a mediator at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) in the context of the patient-family-healthcare relationship. I’ve devoted my first 15 professional years in the biomedical research field and steadily matured my vocation in cooperation, conflict resolution and constructive communication, completing a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Mediation (2017-2020). I bridged with Dr. Klimecki and her lab during the summer of 2018, and I contribute since then as an external collaborator.

PhD Students

Patricia Cernadas Curotto


I’m a psychologist and I’m currently doing my PhD at the University of Geneva, focusing on how compassion training affects different kinds of conflicts. This work is supervised by Dr. Olga Klimecki (University of Geneva), Prof. Dr. David Sander (University of Geneva), and Prof. Dr. Eran Halperin (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel). We aim to observe the impact of compassion training on interpersonal conflicts, for instance, conflicts in romantic couples in Switzerland but also at the same time to investigate compassion training effects on intergroup conflict such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Since my early years, I was interested by interpersonal as well as intergroup relationships and how we can improve them. When I discovered the world of affective sciences, it struck me that emotions and their understanding are key processes to maintain healthy relationships. In addition, I deeply believe on the relevance of using science in order to develop evidence-based interventions.

Sebastian Baez


Currently finishing my Ph.D. in social neuroscience, I previously obtained a master’s degree in neuroscience and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Geneva.

Since 2016, I am part of the team of Dr. Olga Klimecki and Prof. Patrik Vuilleumier. My current work aims at elucidating how socio-affective events can impact the aging brain. The project is mainly focused on empathy-related mechanisms, along with emotion regulation processes. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), psychophysiological measures, and personality traits, I am investigating the temporal dynamics of brain activity and connectivity during and after emotional events. In collaboration with Prof. Gael Chetelat, I am also exploring the extent to which emotional brain processes are altered by disease-related (Alzheimer’s disease) biomarkers in aging. My research is being done in the context of the Medit-Ageing Study (https://silversantestudy.eu), a European project investigating different mental health and well-being factors in the aging population.

Passionate about the human brain, I have always been curious about how social interactions shape our brain as it ages. My work has been influenced by different persons that I encountered during my career. Interesting conversations with Prof. Simone Shamay-Tsoory, Prof. Philipp Kanske, or Dr. Leonhard Schilbach have increased my interest in exploring the brain mechanism underlying social emotions. The work of Prof. Nathan Spreng has inspired me to study brain networks in the context of healthy aging. More broadly, I believe that there is nothing more exciting than trying to understand the complexity of the human mind.

Francois Bogacz


Mediator and PhD student in the domain Emotions and Conflict Resolution

Marco Schlosser


I have received my BSc in Psychology from the University of Groningen, my MSc in Clinical Mental Health Sciences from University College London, and research training at McGill University. I have been awarded a fellowship from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes). As part of the European Medit-ageing group, I contribute to developing frameworks for understanding and investigating meditation practices and their mechanisms of action. My research has also included the study of meditation-related difficulties and ways to address theoretical, methodological, and clinical issues that arise in the context of such difficulties. I also investigate psychological risk factors for dementia. In particular, I am interested in the relationship between repetitive negative thinking and Subjective Cognitive Decline. You can find more details at https://www.marcoschlosser.com

Research Assistants

Christel Maradan

Julia Stietz (TU Dresden)


Master students

Ynès Bouamoud (University of Geneva)


Previously graduated from the University Lumière Lyon II (France) with a BSc degree in Psychology and a BSc in Cognitive-Science, I am currently pursuing my studies in the Interfaculty Masters in Neuroscience (ED Lab, HUG), as well as a Master’s degree in Psychology in the team of Dr. Olga Klimecki at the University of Geneva (Switzerland). 

Passionate about human behavior since a young age, which led to my current interest in Neuroscience and Psychology, my academic background and previous readings gradually convinced me of the potential and utility of studying the integration of neural mechanisms and psychological determinants in the explanation of human behaviors and strategies.

Regarding my current research project with the team of Dr. Olga Klimecki, we investigate how emotional vocal prosody, sentimental text analysis, and facial expressions coding (SPAFF & FACS) are used to analyze affect exchange and temporal dynamics during a conflict between romantic partners. [ynes.bouamoud@unige.ch]

Ylenia D’Elia

I am currently working on the Medit-Ageing Project for my thesis. Here, I investigate the relationship between measures of lifestyle and emotions in older adults with subjective cognitive decline, and test how these relationships are changed by interventions based on mindfulness and health education. I am a master’s student in Neuroscience at the University of Trieste (IT), previously graduated in Biological Science in Varese (IT). I am also an educator in mindfulness meditation. My ultimate goal is to enhance research in this field, whilst working with people to make a difference and improve their quality of life. I am also currently collaborating with the Virginia Tech University, reviewing an article examining the impact and usefulness of yoga on people suffering from anxiety.

Valentine Haran

Online meetings in times of the pandemic (spring 2020). Here we share some positive emotions while discussing exciting results in the domain of couple conflict:


The core of the Workpackage Emotion (project Medit-Ageing/Silver Santé Study) at Harnack House in Berlin, November 2019:


Dinner party in autumn 2019:

F 21 Arbeitsgruppe 2019-10-10 Genf-Carouge (6)

The Medit-Ageing and Emotion team with Gael Chételat (red hair, middle) in 2018:


Party with the Emotions and Conflict Team in 2018: