Conference to Focus on Human-Animal Bond Set for November 3-4

The Centers for Human-Animal Bond (CHAB) Conference is a prestigious event with the goal of uniting leaders from university centers and institutes focused on research, teaching, and practice related to human-animal interaction, sponsored this year by the Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation (HABRI). The conference actually first convened 10 years ago and led to a special issue publication in the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Over the past decade there have been tremendous advances in the field. In an effort to connect and advance key leaders in this multi-disciplinary field, Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine will host the second occurrence of this special, invitation-only event November 3-4, 2016. The first day will be open to the public and feature lectures and workshops on cutting edge methodology in the field.  The second day will consist of interactive discussion and presentations regarding the role, progress, and future trajectory of centers and institutes in advancing the human-animal bond field through collaborative research and education.  Attendees for day two will be invited leaders from centers and institutes focused on human-animal bond research and teaching at universities throughout the United States. 

The public program Thursday, November 3, begins at 10:30 a.m. with a lecture titled “Horses, Dogs, and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-based Benefits” given by Dr. Robin Gabriels and presented by the Purdue Autism Cluster. The conference will then officially begin with a welcome lunch and opening remarks from Purdue Veterinary Medicine Dean Willie Reed and Steve Feldman.  Following lunch, the first interactive workshop “Behavior Coding” will be led by Dr. Maggie O’Haire and Noémie Guérin from the Purdue University Center for the Human-Animal Bond and Dr. Robin Gabriels and Dr. Monique Germone from the University of Colorado School of Medicine/Children’s Hospital Colorado. This workshop will provide an overview of a novel video behavioral coding system to evaluate the interactions between humans and animals in naturalistic settings. The development of the tool, example studies and findings, and practical information for future use will be provided in an interactive format. A second workshop, presented by Jen Jewell and Salimetrics, focuses on salivary bioscience and is intended to effectively enable researchers to integrate salivary bioscience into scientific studies. The minimally-invasive nature of saliva sample collection, and the broad range of potential measurements, enables oral fluids to be employed in a wide range of fields and disciplines with both human and animal participants. The public program will end with the lecture, “Reflections from a Psychologist on Animal Assisted Interventions,” given by Dr. Aubrey Fine, followed by a book signing and reception.

A preliminary agenda for Thursday’s public program is available online along with additional details about the conference. Click here to review the preliminary agenda for the public program.


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