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Simon Schwab


Big Data Institute
University of Oxford
Old Road Campus
Oxford, OX3 7LF
United Kingdom

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Publication List

My research is supported by:


My host institutions:




Psychiatric disorders are common in our society. These disorders affect the brain and often cause tremendous personal distress. In my research as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Oxford University I focus on understanding brain connectivity in healthy and psychiatric conditions. Previous research has demonstrated that psychiatric disorders such as phobia, depression, and schizophrenia exhibit abnormalities in brain systems and their communication. I collaborate with mathematicians and statisticians, and I am particularly interested in new computational methods to explore brain connectivity. In the long run, new methods will hopefully improve the understanding, the diagnosis and the prognosis of such diseases, and may play an important role in personalised medicine in the future.


  • 03/04/2018–I evaluated a new method for functional connectivity called DGM (Dynamic Graphical Models). This work has now been published in NeuroImage. The work also includes the R package "DGM".
  • 05/02/2018–I presented my work on a new connectivity method at UCL (Prof. Karl Friston) and at the FMRIB at Oxford University (Prof. Stephen Smith).
  • 23/06/2017–My new Poster I'm going to present at the OHBM Conference in Vancouver.
  • 13/05/2017–I will move to the Big Data Institute at Oxford University.
  • 02/03/2017–Together with my colleagues, we organized the Brainhack Warwick 2017.


SNSF Visiting Fellow

University of Oxford, UK — 06/2017 to Present

Neuroimaging Statistics (Prof. Thomas Nichols),
Big Data Institute (BDI), Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Information and Discovery
Discovery, Nuffield Department of Population Health

SNSF Visiting Fellow

University of Warwick, UK — 01/2016 to 05/2017

Neuroimaging Statistics (Prof. Thomas Nichols),
Department of Statistics, and Institute of Digital Healthcare (IDH)

Postdoctoral Researcher

University Hospital of Psychiatry, Bern, Switzerland — 12/2013 to 12/2015

Psychiatric Neuroimaging Unit (Prof. Andrea Federspiel),
Translational Research Center


Ph.D. in Health Sciences (Neurosciences)

University of Bern, Switzerland — 4/12/2013

M.Sc. (Psychology, Computer Science)

University of Bern, Switzerland — 9/10/2008



Schwab S, Afyouni S, Chen Y, Han Z, Guo Q, Dierks T, … Grieder, M. (2018). Functional connectivity alterations of the temporal lobe and hippocampus in semantic dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. bioRxiv:322131. doi:10.1101/322131.

Gysin-Maillart A, Soravia LM, Michel K, & Schwab S (2017). Brief Therapy ASSIP Influences Coping Among Patients with a History of Attempted Suicide. PsyArXiv:49fmk. doi:10.17605/OSF.IO/49FMK.

Schwab S, Federspiel A, Morishima Y, Nakataki M, Strik W, Wiest R, Heinrichs M, de Quervain D, & Soravia LM (2017). Glucocorticoids and cortical decoding in the phobic brain. bioRxiv:099697. doi:10.1101/099697.


Mueller SV, Morishima Y, Schwab S, Wiest R, Federspiel A, & Hasler G (2018). Neural correlates of impaired reward-effort integration in remitted bulimia nervosa. Neuropsychopharmacology 43:868–876. doi:10.1038/npp.2017.277.

Schwab S, Harbord R, Zerbi V, Elliott L, Afyouni S, Smith JQ, Woolrich MW, Smith SM, & Nichols TE (2018). Directed Functional Connectivity Using Dynamic Graphical Models. NeuroImage 175:340–353. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.03.074. download


Nakataki M, Soravia LM, Schwab S, Horn H, Dierks T, Strik W, Wiest R, Heinrichs M, de Quervain DJ, Federspiel A, & Morishima Y (2017). Glucocorticoid administration improves aberrant fear processing networks in spider phobia. Neuropsychopharmacology 42(2):485–494. doi:10.1038/npp.2016.207.


Gysin-Maillart A, Schwab S, Soravia LM, Megert M, & Michel K (2016). A novel brief therapy for patients who attempt suicide: a 24-months follow-up randomized controlled study of the Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program (ASSIP). PLoS Medicine 13(3):e1001968. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001968.

Soravia LM, Orosz A, Schwab S, Nakataki M, Wiest R, & Federspiel A (2016). CBT reduces CBF: cognitive-behavioral therapy reduces cerebral blood flow in fear relevant brain regions in spider phobia. Brain and Behavior 6(9):e00510. doi:10.1002/brb3.510.

Soravia LM, Witmer JS, Schwab S, Nakataki M, Dierks T, Wiest R, Henke K, Federspiel A, & Jann K (2016). Prestimulus default mode activity influences depth of processing and recognition in an emotional memory task. Human Brain Mapping 37(3):924–932. doi:10.1002/hbm.23076.


Jann K, Gee DG, Kilroy E, Schwab S, Smith RX, Cannon TD, & Wang DJJ (2015). Functional connectivity in BOLD and CBF data: similarity and reliability of resting brain networks. NeuroImage 106:111–122. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.11.028.

Schwab S, Jost M, & Altorfer A (2015). Impaired top-down modulation of saccadic latencies in patients with schizophrenia but not in first-degree relatives. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 9:44. doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00044. download

Schwab S, Koenig T, Morishima Y, Dierks T, Federspiel A, & Jann K (2015). Discovering frequency sensitive thalamic nuclei from EEG microstate informed resting state fMRI. NeuroImage 118:368–375. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.06.001. download


Duss SB, Reber TP, Hänggi J, Schwab S, Wiest R, Müri, RM, Brugger P, Gutbrod K, & Henke K (2014). Unconscious relational encoding depends on hippocampus. Brain 137(12):3355–3370. doi:10.1093/brain/awu270.


Giezendanner S, Walther S, Razavi N, Van Swam C, Fisler MS, Soravia LM, Andreotti J, Schwab S, Jann K, Wiest R, Horn H, Müller TJ, Dierks T, & Federspiel A (2013). Alterations of white matter integrity related to the season of birth in schizophrenia: a DTI study. PLoS One 8(9):e75508. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075508.

Mikutta CA, Schwab S, Niederhauser S, Wuermle O, Strik W, & Altorfer A (2013). Music, perceived arousal, and intensity: psychophysiological reactions to Chopin’s “Tristesse”. Psychophysiology 50(9):909–919. doi:10.1111/psyp.12071.

Schwab S, Würmle O, Razavi N, Müri RM, & Altorfer A (2013). Eye-head coordination abnormalities in schizophrenia. PLoS One 8(9):e74845. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074845. download


Schwab S, Würmle O, & Altorfer A (2012). Analysis of eye and head coordination in a visual peripheral recognition task. Journal of Eye Movement Research 5(2):1–9. doi:10.16910/jemr.5.2.3. download


fMIR connectivity methods development and validation:
  • Thomas Nichols (supervisor), Soroosh Afyouni, University of Oxford, UK
  • Ruth Harbord, University of Warwick, UK
  • Valerio Zerbi, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • Lloyd Elliott, Department of Statistics, University of Oxford, UK
  • Kay Jann, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, United States
Psychiatric Neuroimaging:
  • Andrea Federspiel, Leila Soravia, Matthias Grieder
    Translational Research Center, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • Masahito Nakataki, Department of Psychiatry, University of Tokushima, Japan
Suicide therapy and clinical trial analysis:
  • Anja Gysin-Maillart, University Hospital of Psychiatry, Bern, Switzerland

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