Samuel Paul Louis Veissière, Ph.D.

Samuel Veissière is Assistant Professor in the Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, co-director of the Culture, Mind, and Brain program, and Associate Member in the Department of Anthropology.


Dr. Veissière is an anthropologist and psychosocial clinician working at the intersection of psychiatry, cognitive science and the social sciences. His work combines ethnographic, experimental, clinical, evolutionary, contemplative, and psychoanalytic perspectives on human cognition, consciousness, and mental health.

Dr. Veissière has held multiple research grants to study the impact of the Internet on cognition, wellbeing and social relations. His work on social and behavioural dimensions of screen addiction led to one of the first interventions to reduce problematic smartphone use successfully tested in a randomized controlled trial. Past research includes leading experimental studies on social, symbolic, and ritual dimensions of placebo effects, and making original contributions to theoretical models of the co-evolution of cognition and culture that draw on Bayesian brain, active inference, and ecological niche construction paradigms.

His current works examines risk and protective factors against violent radicalization and extremism, with an emphasis on digital, narrative, and gendered dimensions of social polarization.


Dr. Veissière accepts a limited number of honour’s undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students for supervision in Psychiatry, Cognitive Science, Anthropology, and related disciplines on topics related to social media and mental health, social polarization, violent extremism, gender and radicalization, the mental health of men and boys, and the “mental health crisis” of Generation Z. Dr. Veissière currently has no funding to support graduate students.


Rousseau, C., Johnson-Lafleur, J., Ngov, C., La Rochelle, X., Brouillette-Alarie, S. Gignac, M., Veissière, S., Crocker, A. (submited) Risk assessment challenges in a specialized clinic for individuals referred for violent extremism. Journal of Threat Assessment and Management

Rousseau, Johnson-Lafleur, J., C., Bonnel, A., Mittermaier, S., Savard, C., Veissière, S. P. (under review) Social and Individual Grievances, Hopelessness and Attraction to Extremist Ideologies in Individuals with Autism: Insights from a clinical sample. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Robertson, K., Gold, I., Veissiere, S., Robillard, R., & Solomonova, E. (2022). Socially Distanced: An Exploratory Study of the Relationships Between Delusional Ideation and Social Imagery Under the Lens of the COVID-19 Pandemic. (submitted)

Dupuis, D., & Veissière, S. (2022). Culture, context, and ethics in the therapeutic use of hallucinogens: Psychedelics as active super-placebos?. Transcultural Psychiatry, 59(5), 571-578.

Olson, J. A., Sandra, D. A., Chmoulevitch, D., Raz, A., & Veissière, S. P. (2022). A nudge-based intervention to reduce problematic smartphone use: Randomised controlled trial. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 1-23

Olson, J. A., Sandra, D. A., Colucci, É. S., Al Bikaii, A., Chmoulevitch, D., Nahas, J., ... & Veissière, S. P. (2022). Smartphone addiction is increasing across the world: A meta-analysis of 24 countries. Computers in Human Behavior, 129, 107138.

Olson, J. A., Sandra, D. A., Langer, E. J., Raz, A., & Veissière, S. P. (2022). Creativity and smartphone use: Three correlational studies. International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, 1-6.

Millette-Gagnon, A., Veissière, S., Friston, K, Ramstead, M. (2022) An active inference approach to semiotics: a variational theory of signs. In. The Routledge Hanbook of Neurosemiotics. Eds. Adolfo M. García & Agustín Ibáñez, New York, Routledge.

Drapeau, M., Whitley, R., & Veissière, S. (2021). Victimisation perçue et radicalisation : perspectives psychologiques, évolutives, sociales et clinques. Psychologie Québec, 38(3), 28-30.

Olson, J. A., Lifshitz, M., Raz, A., & Veissière, S. P. L. (2021). Super placebos: A feasibility study combining contextual factors to promote placebo effects. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12, 222. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.644825

Robillard, R., Saad, M., Edwards, J., Solomonova, E., Pennestri, M. H., Daros, A., Veissière, S. P.... & Kendzerska, T. (2020). Social, financial and psychological stress during an emerging pandemic: observations from a population survey in the acute phase of COVID-19. BMJ open, 10(12), e043805.

Solomonova, E., Picard-Deland, C., Rapoport, I., Pennestri, M. H., Saad, M., Kendzerska, T., Veissière, S.... & Robillard, R. (2021). Stuck in a lockdown: dreams, bad dreams, nightmares, and their relationship to stress, depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Plos One

Thibault, R. T., Veissière, S., Olson, J. A., & Raz, A. (2021). EEG-Neurofeedback and the Correction of Misleading Information: A Reply to Pigott and Colleagues. Journal of attention disorders, 25(3), 458-459.

Gómez-Carrillo, A., Lencucha, R., Faregh, N., Veissière, S., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2020). Engaging culture and context in mhGAP implementation: fostering reflexive deliberation in practice. BMJ Global Health, 5(9), e002689.

Olson, J. A., Stendel, M., & Veissière, S. (2020). Hypnotised by your phone? Smartphone addiction correlates with hypnotisability. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11, 578.

Olson, J. A., Suissa-Rocheleau, L., Lifshitz, M., Raz, A., & Veissière, S. P. (2020). Tripping on nothing: placebo psychedelics and contextual factors. Psychopharmacology, 237(5), 1371-1382.

Veissière, S. P., Constant, A., Ramstead, M. J., Friston, K. J., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2020). TTOM in Action: Refining the Variational Approach to Cognition and Culture Short title. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Veissière, S. P. Constant, A., Ramstead, M. J., Friston, K. J., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2020). Thinking through other minds: A variational approach to cognition and culture. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 43

Constant, A., Ramstead, M. J., Veissière, S. P., & Friston, K. (2019). Regimes of expectations: An active inference model of social conformity and human decision making. Frontiers in psychology, 10, 679.

Veissière, S. P. L. (2018). “Toxic Masculinity” in the age of# MeToo: ritual, morality and gender archetypes across cultures. Society and Business Review, 13(3), 274-286.

Marini, D., Medema, W., Adamowski, J., Veissière, S. P., Mayer, I., & Wals, A. E. (2018). Socio-psychological perspectives on the potential for serious games to promote transcendental values in IWRM decision-making. Water, 10(8), 1097.

Thibault, R. T., Veissière, S., Olson, J. A., & Raz, A. (2018). Treating ADHD with suggestion: neurofeedback and placebo therapeutics. Journal of Attention Disorders, 22(8), 707-711.

Constant, A., Ramstead, M. J., Veissiere, S. P., Campbell, J. O., & Friston, K. J. (2018). A variational approach to niche construction. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 15(141), 20170685.

Veissière, S. (2018). Cultural Markov blankets? Mind the other minds gap!. Comment on" Answering Schrödinger's question: A free-energy formulation" by Maxwell James Désormeau Ramstead et al. Physics of life reviews, 24, 47-49.

Veissière, S. P., & Stendel, M. (2018). Hypernatural monitoring: A social rehearsal account of smartphone addiction. Frontiers in psychology, 141.

Kirmayer, L. J., Gomez-Carrillo, A., & Veissière, S. (2017). Culture and depression in global mental health: An ecosocial approach to the phenomenology of psychiatric disorders. Social Science & Medicine, 100(183), 163-168.

Ramstead, M. J., Veissière, S. P., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2016). Cultural affordances: Scaffolding local worlds through shared intentionality and regimes of attention. Frontiers in psychology, 7, 1090.

Veissière, S. (2016). Varieties of tulpa experiences: The hypnotic nature of human sociality, personhood, and interphenomenality. Hypnosis and meditation: Towards an integrative science of conscious planes, 55-78.

Veissiere, S., & Gibbs-Bravo, L. (2016). Language, ritual, and placebo sociality in a community of extreme eaters. Food cults: How fads, dogma, and doctrine influence diet, 63-86.

Veissiere, S. (2016) The Internet is Not a River: Space, Movement, and Relationality in a Wired World. Click and Kin: Transnational Identity and Quick Media, 214-238.


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