A big thank you to our colleagues at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, and to all our partners who contributed to the success of the latest AffecTech training week, in Milan, Italy.

The sixth and final training event scheduled within the AffecTech project took place 4th to 9th of February 2019, at AffecTech Consortium Partner Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UC).

It was a very intense training week, in which AffecTech Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge on topics strictly connected to emotion regulation, from an interdisciplinary perspective.

The main theme of the training week was the use of embodied tools to promote emotion regulation. The first speaker who addressed this topic was Sander Koole, Professor at the Department of Clinical Psychology of the VU University Amsterdam and Director of the Amsterdam Emotion Regulation Lab. Subsequently, students were introduced to the use of Virtual Reality Systems and biofeedback by the team of the Associate Partner Istituto Auxologico Italiano (IAI). The IAI’s researchers hosted the students for one day in their labs, showing them the technology used in neuropsychology and clinical psychology, including the CAVE system, employed not only for research purposes but also for cognitive rehabilitation.

Other esteemed speakers were Massimiliano Grassi, from San Benedetto Menni Hospital, Como (Italy), covering machine learning approaches in psychological settings; Stéphanie Gauttier, from the Centre of Ethics and Technology, University of Twente (The Netherlands), illustrating ethics principles to deal with while studying human enhancement technologies; Cristina Ottaviani, from Università La Sapienza, Rome (Italy), addressing the link between psychophysiology and maladaptive emotion regulation strategies, such as rumination.

Beside these seminars, students also had a one-day workshop focused on slowstorming activities led by the group of Prof. Kristina Höök (KTH, Sweden), in collaboration with the contact-dance instructor Elisa Ghion. During this workshop, attended not only by ESRs, but also by many academic supervisors and collaborators, first participants were stimulated to get in touch with their own body, then to use their body to synchronize with another person. In the second part of the day, the prototypes of actuators developed by ESRs were presented, experienced and discussed.

Image (top right): A moment of the Slowstorming session, with instructor Elisa Ghion showing the activity. Image courtesy of Dr. Claudia Repetto, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.

About AffecTech

The AffecTech project is an international collaborative network that advances personal health technologies for affective disorders – depression, anxiety and bipolar, and aims to deliver an effective low cost technology platform to help sufferers.

AffecTech is established with support from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) via the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 (H2020) research and innovation programme. AffecTech is a European Innovative Training Network funded under Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 722022.