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The Festival Of Touch

A joint meeting of Research In Touch and IASAT:
How do you feel… how do you want to feel?

July 4 July 7 Europe/France

The Festival of Touch aims to bring together researchers working in the sense of touch from across the world. It will be a joint meeting of two networks: Research in Touch and IASAT: International Association for the Study of Affective Touch.

The conference will be held between 4-7 July 2023 at Campus Saint-Charles of Aix-Marseille University and will include four days of oral and poster presentations on touch, as well as hands-on demonstrations. This will be an excellent opportunity for researchers interested in touch to come together from across the world to present and share their research. We will have different sessions that focus on topics such as peripheral mechanoreceptors to the central interpretation of touch and include the domains of haptics and affective touch.

The Registration Portal Will Open Soon.

Abstract Submission Now Open!

We are accepting abstracts for open talks (10-15 mins) and posters.

You can choose to submit an abstract to be considered for a talk and/or a poster or for a poster only. Each abstract should be no more than 250 words and provide an overview of your work.

You do not need to upload additional files, but if you want to send us a picture representing “What touch means to you”, please feel free! We hope to use these, anonymously, to illustrate our world of touch during the conference.

To Submit An Abstract:

1) Create An Account on the conference’s abstract submission site. If you’re creating a new account – you’ll need to verify your email address – the verification email may take some time.

2) Login using the username & password you just created.

3) Go to My Space > My Submissions

4) Click [+ Submit An Abstract] and complete the form.



  • How skin mechanics shape touch
  • Affective touch: more than skin stroking
  • Wetness, slip, stick, and texture
  • C-fibers – what is their functional role?
  • Multisensory and central influences in touch interactions
  • Tricking the system: tactile illusions and prosthetic touch

Keynote Speakers:

  • Sliman Bensmaia
  • Gary Lewin
  • Rochelle Ackerley
  • Ingvars Birznieks
  • India Morrison

Details may be subject to change.


For more information, please contact Rochelle Ackerley


Campus Saint-Charles, 3 Place Victor Hugo
Marseille, 13003 France
+ Google Map


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Objectives for the Festival of Touch:


  • We wish to present cutting-edge research in touch and encourage discussion.
  • The main theme of the Festival of Touch will be how fundamental touch mechanisms are encoded and interpreted, with a goal of making touch feel better.
  • We will link the two joint conferences together by having symposia that span general touch research and affective touch, to increase interactions and discussions amongst researchers.


  • Inclusivity: we will invite touch researchers from all over the world to participate and we encourage all levels to contribute, from students to established researchers.
  • Openness: we want to spread the message of touch far and wide and the conference will be open to all people interested in touch, where we will encourage industrial participation.
  • Environment: we will encourage travel with lower environmental impact. We will hold some of the presentations via visual conferencing. We will also use less meat in the catering, use biodegradable items, and decrease plastic use.