"...the hand, 'teacher and agent of the brain'..." (HG Wells, The War of The Worlds)

The Hand Lab

Research projects

Group for Research into Action and Sensory Processing

In this project we are studying the hand-eye-coordination abilities of children aged 7-10 years. We aim to find out how different kinds of movements develop in different children, and also to see how different areas of the brain are responsible for these movements. This project is funded by the Medical Research Council. More information about this project is on the GRASP website.

Visual enhancement of touch

Information from vision and proprioception can influence how we perceive tactile stimuli on our bodies. This project examines exactly which conditions help or hinder spatial perception in touch.

Imitation

This research examines face-to-face and video-based interactions between two people.

Handedness

This project aims to develop a new handedness questionnaire that covers new or neglected aspects of hand usage from previous questionnaires. For example, questions will cover hand-to-mouth actions in eating and drinking, social actions, and use of new technology such as mobile phones. The aim is both to update traditional questionnaires, as well as to study whether handedness is changing with modern technology.

Food directed action

When humans and other animals observe someone reaching to grasp and manipulate an object, there is a tendency for the observer automatically to imitate or simulate the observed action. This tendency is reflected in the activity of 'mirror neurons' in the brain, as well as in other neural and behavioural measures. This project investigates the neural and behavioural consequences of observing food-directed actions, and examines the kinematic and neural aspects of observing and executing eating actions.

Online control of movement

When we reach to grasp a cup from a high shelf, occasionally the cup will slip or tumble, and we must make very rapid movements to correct our reach-to-grasp action. This project probes the neural circuitry and the kinematic (movement) parameters of this on-line control of reaching and grasping movements.