Tips and Tricks for Maximizing your ICIS Conference Enjoyment!

by Jessica A. Sommerville



Greetings conference goers! Believe it or not, ICIS 2022 is almost here. 

We share your excitement and trepidation in attending what might be your first in-person conferences since the start of the pandemic! If you are like us, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed about attending a big international conference, after a primarily virtual hiatus for the last few years.  In that vein, we’d like to share some tips and tricks for getting the most out of your ICIS 2022!

Protect yourself and others!

As an international organization that celebrates a diversity of perspectives and ideals, ICIS seeks to promote the health and safety of all its members. We strongly encourage you to mask throughout conference spaces and especially at poster sessions where social distancing may not be possible. Please bring a high-quality mask with you so you can wear it throughout the conference.  Also, don’t forget to download the ArriveCan app on your smart phone/mobile device (available through the App store) if you are travelling from outside Canada, and to complete the questionnaire prior to going through Customs. Taking the time to do this in advance will make the arrival process as smooth as possible!

Download the app! Did you know that ICIS has a conference app? That’s right, we do! On the app (PheedLoopGo!), you can view the conference schedule (and assign events to your personal schedule), look up attendees and chat with them via messenger, receive announcements, read presentation abstracts, access the conference floor plan, and much, much more! Every registered attendee will receive a welcome email to PheedLoop with a link to download the app. Alternately, you can install the app by linking on the appropriate link below:



Please note that once you download the app you must login with the email address used to register for the conference. If you have not completed a registration, you will not get access.  

Attend a preconference!

If 3 full conference days are just not enough for you, we encourage you to register for one of ICIS 2022’s exciting and innovative pre-conferences. 

All day preconference

Workshop 1: New methods in infant social neuroscience Organizer: Sam Wass Morning pre-conferences  

Workshop 2: Baby FACS: Facial Action Coding System for Infants and Young Children Organizers: Harriet Oster and Marco Dondi

 Workshop 3: How to build an observation lab Organizer: Rheinhold Grassl, Mangold International GmbH

Workshop 4: Tutorial on using head-mounted eye tracking in infant research Organizers: Chen Yu, John Franchak, Irina Castellanos, David Crandall, Justine Hoch, Karen Adolph

Afternoon pre-conference

Featured Workshop: Embodied and Robotic Approaches to Studying Infant Development and Learning Organizers: James Rehg, Byuoung-Tak Zhang, Jonathan Matthis, Chen Yu  

It’s all about cascades!

The theme of ICIS 2022 Developmental Cascades. Throughout the conference you will see presentations that highlight intersections among behaviors, abilities, and processes at multiple levels of analysis (biological, neural, behavioral, environmental, cultural), across different domains (motor, cognitive, language, social, emotional, etc.), and across time (from prenatal development through early childhood).

Our keynote speakers, presidential symposium, and invited speakers have been selected based on their expertise and the knowledge they have generated about these multi-dimensional intersections.  Be sure not to miss our invited program!

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Charles Nelson – Saturday July 9th from 8:30am to 9:30am (The Effects of Early Psychosocial Deprivation on Brain and Behavioural Development; Confederation 2&3)

Dr. Ruth Feldman – Sunday July 10th from 8:30am to 9:30am (A Two-Brain Perspective on Human Sociality; Confederation 2&3) Invited Speakers

Dr. Jana Iverson – Friday July 8th from 11:30am to 1pm (Developmental Variability and Developmental Cascades: Lessons from Infants with an Older Sibling with Autism; GG III)

Dr. Dima Amso – Friday July 8th from 2pm to 3:30pm (Sampling to Learn and Learning to Sample; GG III)

Dr. Frances Champagne- Saturday July 9th from 9:45am to 11am (Prenatal Epigenetics and the Emergence of Developmental Trajectories; GG III)

Dr. Su-hua Wang- Saturday July 9th from 11:45am to 1:15pm (Towards a Cultural Understanding of How Infants Learn; GG III)

Dr. Phillipe Rochat – Saturday July 9th from 2:15 to 3:45pm (The evolution of developmental theories since Piaget; GG III)

Dr. Diane Poulin-Dubois- Sunday July 10th 11:30am to 1pm (A long and rewarding road: Lessons I have learned; GG III)

Presidential Symposium

Featuring Dr. Alejandrina Cristia, Dr. Nuria Sebastian Galles, and Dr. Linda Smith

Friday July 8th from 9:45am to 11:15am (GG III)


By highlighting current research on Developmental Cascades, we aim to spark new ideas, invigorate researchers in their own work, and advance fresh perspectives on the science of infancy. 


Let’s hear it for the presidents!


At ICIS 2022, we are especially lucky to be able to have TWO presidential talks. Past-President Lisa Oakes will speak from 8:30am to 9:30am on Friday July 8th (Understanding developmental cascades and experience: Diversity matters; Confederation 2&3), and President Catherine Tamis-LeMonda will speak from 5pm to 6pm Friday July 8th (The mountain stream of infant development; Confederation 2&3). Please come hear from our awesome and inspiring leaders to learn cutting-edge information about the state of our science. 

Also, don’t miss the presidential reception from 6pm to 7pm on Friday July 8th (GG Ballroom). This is a great chance to catch up with friends and colleagues and talk to our leaders, face to face! 


Outreach is us!


Join us for a fun and friendly outreach event from 4pm to 6pm on Thursday July 7th (GG III). Learn about the exciting, innovative research being conducted by hometown, University of Ottawa researchers, and mingle with parents from the community. Feel free to bring the kids! We will have a loose parts play station to keep them entertained. Keep an eye out for ICIS board members wearing ask-the-expert ribbons; this is your chance to ask any developmental questions you have!


Calling all babies!


If we learned anything from the pandemic it is that: Recruitment.Is.Important! Come learn about some creative ways to recruit participants and connect with the community at our Roundtable Discussion Session on Recruiting Research Participants (Saturday July 9th, 1:15pm – 2:00pm; GG I) featuring Dr. Rebecca Brand, Dr. Tamar Kushnir, Dr. Casey Lew-Williams, and Dr. Jessica Sommerville. 



Especially for students!


We recognize that attending conferences as a student can be intimidating. One thing to keep in mind is that we all have something in common: our love of baby science! 


To help students connect with others with similar interests, ICIS 2022 has a fantastic line up of student and trainee events and activities!


  • Breakfast with Leaders: Saturday July 9th from 7:30am to 8:30am (GG I)

This is your opportunity to meet and chat with field wide leaders! Drs. Dima Amso, Ruth Feldman, Lana Karasik, Charles Nelson, Linda Smith, Alex (Alejandrina) Cristia will be in attendance. This event is sold out but you can email  to join a waitlist if you are interested.


  • Post-doc Panel: Friday July 8th from 11:30am to 1pm (Ontario)

Come learn about how to obtain a post-doc and ask any burning questions you may have! This panel will feature current post-docs across a range of sub-fields.


  • Student Social:  Thursday July 7th from 5pm to 7pm (at Major Hill’s Park, near the Twist sculpture, as this is near the entrance closest to the conference centre)

Come meet other students and trainees at this off-site non-sponsored event. Registration (free) is not required but is appreciated for head count purposes. If you are already registered for the conference, you edit your registration to include the student social here:

  • Student Lounge: all conference (Confederation Foyer); for graduate and undergraduate students

Are you looking for a place to simultaneously relax while also connecting with other students? This is the space for you! Filled with games and fun activities that will help break the ice!


Enjoy Ottawa!


Ottawa is a beautiful multi-cultural city, with tons to offer. Try to fit in some time to see the city. We recommend that you:

  • Bike, jog or walk along the Rideau canal
  • Visit the National Gallery of Canada, home to one of the finest collections of Indigenous and Canadian art collections in the world
  • Grab a bite at the Byward Market, the oldest farmer’s market in Canada
  • Stop by Blues Fest for some summer tunes
  • Take in a play at the Shakespeare festival
  • Drive, bus or bike to Gatineau park, a gorgeous 361 square kilometre conservation park


We look forward to seeing you in Ottawa!

About the Author

Jessica Sommerville

Jessica Sommerville

University of Toronto

Dr. Sommerville studies cognitive development from infancy through preschool with an emphasis on social and moral cognition and behavior, action/perception relations and memory development.

Jessica Sommerville was an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Associate Director for the Foundations for Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Competence at the Center for Child and Family Well-Being, both at the University of Washington. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 2002 and completed a post-doc at the University of Washington in 2003. Her research is funded by NICHD, the John Templeton Foundation, and via intra-mural funding at the University of Washington.

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