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Social Neuroscience of Human-Animal Interactions
Event Starts:
Thursday November 10, 2011
@ 11:00am

Event Ends:
Friday November 11, 2011
@ 5:00pm


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Renaissance Hotel

999 9th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

Hotel Phone: 1-202-898-9000

The closest airport is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), which is approximately 6 miles from the hotel.
 This event is closed.


Social Neuroscience of Human-Animal Interactions

November 10- 11, 2011
Washington, DC
A satellite meeting of Society for Neuroscience 2011

Sponsored by

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and The WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition, a Division of Mars, Incorporated

Human-Animal Interaction (HAI) is commonplace during childhood and other stages of human development, and a number of studies have suggested HAI may play a role in improving human health, preventing emotional distress, reducing stress, increasing academic achievement, and increasing well-being across the life-span. Much of this research has been descriptive and little work has looked at the underlying neurobiological mechanisms associated with HAI. There is a need for research on the underlying neural, genetic, and basic affiliation and motivation processes contributing to HAI. Because this is an emerging area of public health inquiry, researchers with expertise in studying neurobiological mechanisms supporting human behaviors have rarely been involved in HAI and are not familiar with the intriguing public health results and questions early HAI research has generated. Likewise, most researchers who have been involved in current HAI studies are not familiar with neurobiological approaches or are not familiar with the types of collaborations they could establish to investigate basic mechanisms associated with HAI.

The purpose of this 1.5 day conference is to bring together experts in social, emotional and cognitive neuroscience with researchers investigating human-animal interactions. The conference will focus on current methods and findings in developmental neuroscience, specifically in the areas of social and emotional development, cognition, motivation, and social affiliation. The conference will also focus on relevant questions regarding basic mechanisms of HAI of mutual interest to the participants as well as the methods and measures appropriate for investigating those questions.

REGISTRATION FEE: The registration fee of $100.00 US, includes admittance to both days of the conference, and all associated meals and catering provided as part of the conference, including a dinner on the evening of Thursday, November 10th.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE AND PAYMENT METHODS: Online registration will close at 11:55pm Eastern Time on Monday, October 31st, 2011, and all registrations must be made online by that date. After October 31st, 2011, no additional registrations will be accepted. Registration and payment for this conference can only be made using the online registration system. We will not be able to accept payments via check, or at the door.

REFUND POLICY: Requests for refunds should be sent via e-mail to: HAIneuroconference2011@gmail.com. To be eligible for a refund, your request must be received by October 31, 2011. No refunds will be granted for refund requests received after October 31, 2011.

DISABILITY ACCOMMODATIONS: Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate can provide details of the accommodation(s) required during the registration process.

If you have questions, please contact: HAIneuroconference2011@gmail.com

To print a copy of the conference program, click here.

Conference Program

Day 1: Thursday, November 10, 2011

11:00am – 1:00pm Registration  
1:00pm - 1:30pm Welcoming remarks Yvonne Maddox, Ph.D.
Steve Rizk, Ph.D.
Sandra McCune, Ph.D.
Lisa Freund, Ph.D.
Day 1. Session 1. Affiliation and Attachment - Chair: Sandra McCune, Ph.D.
1:30pm – 1:55pm
(25 min)
Social behavior: An emergent and adaptive property of the mammalian autonomic nervous system Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D.
1:55pm – 2:20pm
(25 min)
The healing power of social bonds: An oxytocin hypothesis C. Sue Carter, Ph.D.
2:20pm – 2:45pm
(25 min)
Integration of salivary analytes into the study of human-animal interactions: Prospects and possibilities Douglas A. Granger, Ph.D.
2:45pm – 3:05pm
(20 min)
Discussants (10 minutes each) Karen L. Bales, Ph.D.
Andrea M. Beetz, Ph.D.
3:05pm – 3:30pm
(25 min)
Group Discussion  
3:30pm - 3:45pm
(15 min)
Day 1. Session 2. Emotion, Temperament, Empathy & Social Relationships - Chair: Layla Esposito, Ph.D.
3:45pm – 4:10pm
(25 min)
The social regulation of neural threat responding James Coan, Ph.D.
4:10pm – 4:35pm
(25 min)
Empathy, altruism, and aggression: A cognitive neuroscience perspective Abigail A. Marsh, Ph.D.
4:35pm – 5:00pm
(25 min)
Effects of pets on youth outcomes: Socio-emotional adjustment, antisocial behavior, and emotion recognition Kristen C. Jacobson, Ph.D.
5:00pm – 5:20pm
(20 min)
Discussants (10 minutes each) Sandra B. Barker, Ph.D.
James A. Serpell, Ph.D.
5:20pm – 5:45pm
(25 min)
Group Discussion  
5:45pm – 6:00pm
(15 min)
Closing Remarks – Day 1 Sandra McCune, Ph.D.
6:45pm – 10:00pm Dinner Location: Cuba Libre
801 9th Street NW
Corner of 9th & H Streets

Day 2: Friday, November 11, 2011

7:30am – 8:30am Continental Breakfast & Registration  
8:30am – 8:35am
(5 min)
Opening Remarks Lisa Freund, Ph.D.
Day 2. Session 1. Gene & Environment Interactions - Chair: Peggy McCardle, MPH, Ph.D.
8:35am – 9:00am
(25 min)
Gene-environment interplay, maternal "buffering," and face-to-face interactions in rhesus monkeys Stephen J. Suomi, Ph.D.
9:00am – 9:25am
(25 min)
Deciphering genetic components of feline behavior? Leslie A. Lyons, Ph.D.
9:25am – 9:45am
(20 min)
Discussants (10 minutes each) Elaine Ostrander, Ph.D.
Rosalind Arden, Ph.D.
9:45am - 10:10am
(25 min)
Group discussion  
10:10am – 10:25am
(15 min)
Day 2. Session 2. Executive Function, Cognitive & Emotional Control - Chair: James Griffin, Ph.D.
10:25am – 10:50am
(25 min)
Pets can provide emotional, social, physical, and cognitive benefits Adele Diamond, Ph.D., FRSC
10:50am – 11:15am
(25 min)
Executive function and the developing brain Philip D. Zelazo, Ph.D.
11:15am – 11:40am
(25 min)
What do infants know about cats, dogs, and people? Paul C. Quinn, Ph.D.
11:40am – 12:00pm
(20 min)
Discussants (10 minutes each) Nancy R. Gee, Ph.D.
Kurt Kotrschal, Ph.D.
12:00pm – 12:25pm
(25 min)
Group Discussion  
12:25pm – 1:25pm
(60 min)
Day 2. Session 3. Social Attention, Social Interaction, Brain Activation - Chair: Lisa Freund, Ph.D.
1:25pm – 1:50pm
(25 min)
Searching for neuroendophenotypes in autism spectrum disorders Kevin Pelphrey, Ph.D.
1:50pm– 2:15pm
(25 min)
Reward processing in the brain: Maternal responses to infant faces Lane Strathearn, MBBS, FRACP, Ph.D.
2:15pm – 2:40pm
(25 min)
Of beasts and babies: Infants' interest in animals Judy S. DeLoache, Ph.D.
2:40pm –3:00pm
(20 min)
Discussants (10 minutes each) Alice Kau, Ph.D.
Kun Guo, Ph.D.
3:00pm - 3:25pm
(25 min)
Group Discussion  
3:25pm – 3:45pm
(20 min)
3:45pm- 4:45pm
(60 min)
Group Discussion--Using social neuroscience to answer HAI questions Lisa Freund, Ph.D.
Sandra McCune, Ph.D.
4:45pm – 5:00pm
(15 min)
Closing Remarks  
5:00pm Conference Closes  

Program last revised: 7:35pm on Monday, November 7th, 2011.

Conference Venue:

Renaissance Hotel
999 9th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 1-202-898-9000

Meeting Room: The conference will take place in the Grand Ballroom South, which is located on the Ballroom Level of the hotel. Additional information about the conference location, including a floor plan of the Ballroom Level, can be downloaded by following this link.

The closest airport is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), which is approximately 6 miles from the hotel.

Additional information about travel to the conference venue can be located by following this link

Hotel Information:

A room block has not been arranged with the Renaissance Hotel, so registrants may simply contact the hotel to book accommodations.

Follow this link to download a document containing additional hotel options in the area.

Conference Dinner:

Cuba Libre
801 9th Street NW (corner of 9th & H Streets)
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 1-202-408-1600

Dinner at Cuba Libre, on the evening of Thursday, November 10th, is included in the registration fee. You can download a map to the restaurant by following this link.