Pleasant touch, the body and the self

What is pleasant touch? Is it special? How does it contribute to our sense of self? These and related questions are being researched by PhD student Laura Crucianelli together with her supervisors Dr Paul Jenkinson  (University of Hertfordshire) and Dr Aikaterini Fotopoulou (UCL & Katlab leader). Using multisensory illusions in healthy volunteers and patients with distorted body representations, we examine the mechanisms of pleasant touch and its role in maintaining a healthy sense of self. Our research aims to better understand how pleasant touch affects normal body ownership, whether pleasant touch is impaired in individuals with an abnormal body representation, and how pleasant touch is affected by various social, cognitive and biological factors. Our research offers unique insights into mind-body-interactions, the relationship between the internally felt and externally perceived body, and how basic bodily functions influence fundamental aspects of self-consciousness.

THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION
FOR THE STUDY OF 
AFFECTIVE TOUCH: 
INAUGURAL CONGRESS!

University College London
Friday 20 – Sunday 22 March 2015
(Friday 1pm to Sunday 2pm) 

Details here: IASAT Full

Several influential studies have recently drawn attention to an affective dimension of touch, its social and cognitive role, as well as its neurophysiological and genetic basis. The main  aim of this congress is to
provide a platform for fruitful scientific exchanges in this nascent field. The congress will bring together for the first time researchers from around the world exploring the nature and role of affective touch in the
human brain and mind.

We particularly hope the congress will foster interdisciplinary dialogue between the different fields interested in affective touch such as psychology, physiology, genetics, neurobiology and affective neuroscience. During the meeting, we also aim to hold the first, founding meeting of the International Association for the Study of Affective Touch, in which the mission and governance of the Society can be decided.  Speakers include:

EMMANUEL BOURINET (FRANCE), CARISSA CASCIO (USA),

CHRIS DIJKERMAN (NETHERLANDS),

ROBIN DUNBAR (UK), KATERINA FOTOPOULOU (UK),

DONNA LLOYD (UK), SARAH LLOYD-FOX (UK),

FRANCIS MCGLONE (UK), MICHAEL MEANEY (CANADA),

INDIA MORRISON (SWEDEN), HÅKAN OLAUSSON (SWEDEN), 

MARTIN PAULUS (USA), CHARLES SPENCE (UK), 

SOPHIA VRONTOU (USA)

SPECIAL GUEST: CAMILA BATMANGHELIDJH (KIDS COMPANY, UK)

 

THE CALL FOR PAPERS

 You are invited to submit abstracts for empirical research presentations and posters. The conference aims to focus

on studies on affective touch, but presentations on closely related topics, such as for example pain,
are also welcome.   All Abstracts should contain the following information:

            1. Title
            2. Names of all authors, with institutional affiliations and credentials (e.g., M.A., 
                Ph.D., M.D.)
            3. Introduction, Methods [clear information on methods and sample size is 
                required), Results, and Conclusions (500 words maximum, not including title 
                and author information)
            4. Oral or poster presentation preference (we cannot guarantee all but will do  
                our best)
            5. Short Bio: max 150 words 

Abstracts are due by 05th January 2015. Please submit your abstracts by clicking here;
you will receive a receipt and a reference number, and notification
of acceptance status and presentation type (oral vs poster)
will be made by end of January. If you do not receive an
acknowledgement of receipt, please follow up by email.

Further info: www.neuropsa.org.uk & affectivetouch@gmail.comClick here to register