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IASAT 2019

September 11, 2019 - September 13, 2019

3rd IASAT Congress

Wednesday 11th – Friday 13th September 2019


Agenda ♦ Venue ♦

We once again look forward to bringing together researchers from around the world to explore and discuss the biology and psychology of affective touch, and its role in brain development and social behaviour.

Several influential studies have examined the neurobiology, physiology and genetics of affective touch, and highlighted its social and cognitive importance. The aim is to provide a platform for fruitful scientific exchanges in this nascent field, and foster interdisciplinary dialogue between scientists and professionals in education, health and social care. 

The programme will be built around four larger topics to cover a wide range of relevant research questions related to affective touch. The four main topics are (1) The C story: pain, pleasure and itch (2) The spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system (3) Cognitive, affective and social perspectives (4) New advances in the field of affective touch: methods & applications. The congress will involve a wide variety of options for the speakers, such as data blitz sessions, research presentations, keynote talks, symposia and poster presentations. Furthermore, to create opportunities for causal discussions, a gala dinner will be held on Thursday. We will organize a visit and dinner to the nearby lakeside village of Vadstena, the birthplace of Yngve Zotterman.

Download The Programme (.pdf)




Find out more about our host city at: VisitLinköping


Day 1 Wednesday Sept. 11th
8:30 9:00 Coffee and Registration
9:00 9:10 Welcome Commencement
9:10 9:45 Keynote – Victoria Abraira: Wired for Touch: the neurons and circuits of the somatosensory system
10 minute break/buffer
9:55 11:25 Session 1 – C story: pain, pleasure, itch
Session Leader – Francis McGlone: C+++: A Protection Racket
Speaker – Gudrun Gosseau: C-tactile function in postherpetic neuralgia
Speaker – Adarsh Makdani: Itch
Speaker – Grazia Spitoni: Pleasure
11:25 12:00 Keynote – Emmanuel Bourinet: Chasing the function of affective touch neuronal circuits in mice
12:00 13:00 Lunch
13:00 13:35 Keynote – David Mahns: C tactile fibres: to what affect?
13:35 15:05 Session 2 – Spinal Cord and PNS
Session Leader – Saad Nagi: Richness of peripheral afferent responses to touch and pain
Speaker – Sarah McIntyre: The physical characteristics of social touch
Speaker – Andy Marshall: Signalling of pleasant touch in the human spinal cord
Speaker -Max Larsson: Synaptic substrates of social touch
15:05 15:25 Coffee Break
15:25 16:00 Keynote – Alex Chesler: Touch and Pain in health and disease
16:00 Poster Session 1 Open
Day 2 Thursday Sept. 12th
9:00 9:35 Keynote – Annett Schirmer: Felt or seen – Affective touch modulates the social brain
9:35 11:15 Session 3 – Cognitive, affective and social perspectives
Session Leader – Aikaterini Fotopoulou: Sensitivity, metacognition, stroke and anorexia studies
Speaker – Rebecca Böhme: The bodily self in Autism and ADHD
Speaker – Juulia Suvilehto:
Speaker – Ilona Croy: Developmental and PTSD studies
10 minute break/buffer
11:25 12:00 Keynote – Katalin Gothard: From sensing to feeling along a cortico-amygala pathway for social touch
12:00 13:00 Lunch
13:00 15:00 Data Blitz – Hosted by Chris Dijkerman
15:00 15:30 Coffee Break
15:30 Poster Session 2 Open – Guided Tour
17:00 Bus to Vadstena
19:00 Dinner at Vadstena
21:30 Returning Bus from Vadstena
Day 3 Friday Sept. 13th
9:00 9:35 Keynote – Catherine Bushnell: Brain processing of superficial and deep touch
9:35 11:15 Session 4 – Methods and Applications
Session Leader – Greg Gerling: Quantitative Methods for Uncovering Human-to-Human Physical Interactions that Underlie Social and Emotional Touch Communication
Speaker – Uta Sailer: Individual stability of pleasantness ratings for stroking touch
Speaker – Charles El Rawadi: Better understanding tactile ability and skin neurological disorders with aging to improve life quality of elderly
Speaker – Robin Heron: Analysing meaning making of social touch in computer-mediated interaction
Speaker – Ingvars Birznieks: Making recipes for touch sensation using the key ingredient of the timing of individual spikes in tactile afferents
Speaker – Martina Fusaro: Feeling touch in absence of tactile stimulation: subjective and bodily reactivity to observation of virtual touches on taboo body zones
11:25 12:00 Keynote – Karon MacLean: What part of our internal experience is readable by a touch-sensitive machine?
12:00 Closing Remarks & Award Ceremony
Take Away Lunch

(agenda subject to change)

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IASAT 2019 will be held at Konsert&Kongress, Linköping, Sweden

Find out more about our host city at: VisitLinköping


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Scientific Organising Committee: The scientific committee of IASAT 2019 consists of Håkan Olausson, India Morrison, Francis McGlone and Aikaterini Fotopoulou.

Administrative Support: The administrative support team includes Lina Homman, Andrew Wold, Anikó Kusztor, and Adarsh Makdani.

For more information: help@iasat.org

Supported By

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Partner Universities


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September 11, 2019
September 13, 2019
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Konsistoriegatan 7
Linköping, 582 22 Sweden
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