Reach-to-Grasp Behavior: Brain, Behavior, and Modelling Across the Life Span, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Reach-to-Grasp Behavior

Brain, Behavior, and Modelling Across the Life Span, 1st Edition

Edited by Daniela Corbetta, Marco Santello


382 pages

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Reaching for objects in our surroundings is an everyday activity that most humans perform seamlessly a hundred times a day. It is nonetheless a complex behavior that requires the perception of objects’ features, action selection, movement planning, multi-joint coordination, force regulation, and the integration of all of these properties during the actions themselves to meet the successful demands of extremely varied task goals. Even though reach-to-grasp behavior has been studied for decades, it has, in recent years, become a particularly growing area of multidisciplinary research because of its crucial role in activities of daily living and broad range of applications to other fields, including physical rehabilitation, prosthetics, and robotics.

This volume brings together novel and exciting research that sheds light into the complex sensory-motor processes involved in the selection and production of reach-to-grasp behaviors. It also offers a unique life-span and multidisciplinary perspective on the development and multiple processes involved in the formation of reach-to-grasp. It covers recent and exciting discoveries from the fields of developmental psychology and learning sciences, neurophysiology and brain sciences, movement sciences, and the dynamic field of developmental robotics, which has become a very active applied field relying on biologically inspired models. This volume is a rich and valuable resource for students and professionals in all of these research fields, as well as cognitive sciences, rehabilitation, and other applied sciences.


"What we do with our bodies plays a role in—creates, selects—sensory information for learning and organizes brain networks within a single task, changing the very organization of the brain at multiple levels. This volume, focused on reaching behavior and rich with data and new insights, provides lessons for all who are interested in human sensory-motor systems and the large role they play in human perception and cognition." Linda B. Smith, Indiana University, USA

"The study of hand movements offers a unique window into brain mechanisms underlying motor control. The number and complexity of controlled movement parameters allow us to address issues ranging from bottom-up sensorimotor transformations to top-down high-order cognitive processing. This volume promises the reader a broad and up-to-date overview of these mechanisms, and it was a great pleasure to read a book that keeps its promise." Marco Davare, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

"The present volume discusses new and exciting discoveries related to reaching and grasping from several different perspectives including developmental studies, neurophysiological and functional analyses, and their application to the dynamic field of developmental robotics. I recommend the reading of it to anyone interested in manual behaviour." - Claes von Hofsten, Uppsala University, Sweden

Table of Contents

Part I: Developmental Studies on the Origins and Acquisition of Reach-to-Grasp

1. Goal Directed Behaviours: The Development of Pre-Natal Touch Behaviours Nadja Reissland and Joe Austen

2. Learning to Reach in Infancy Daniela Corbetta, Rebecca F. Wiener, and Sabrina L. Thurman

3. Multiple Motor Channel Theory and the Development of Skilled Hand Movements in Human Infants Jenni M. Karl, Lori-Ann R. Sacrey, and Ian Q. Whishaw

4. The Development of Anticipatory Planning Skills in 3- to 12-Year-Old Children Matthias Weigelt

Part II: Neurophysiological Bases of Reaching, Grasping, and Action Selection

5. Neural Circuits for Action Selection Paul Cisek and David Thura

6. How Separate Are Reaching and Grasping? Adam G. Rouse, Kevin A. Mazurek, Zheng Liu, Gil Rivlis, and Marc H. Schieber

7. Representing Visual Information in Motor Terms for Grasp Control Kenneth F. Valyear

Part III: On the Planning and Control of Reach-to-Grasp Behavior in Adults

8. The Control of the Reach-to-Grasp Movement Jeroen B. J. Smeets and Eli Brenner

9. Reach-to-Grasp Movements: Testing the Cognitive Architecture of Action Umberto Castiello

10. Sensorimotor Integration Associated with Transport-Aperture Coordination and Tool-Mediated Reaching Miya K. Rand and Yury P. Shimansky

11. Dexterous Manipulation: Bridging the Gap between Hand Kinematics and Kinetics Marco Santello

Part IV: Reach-to-Grasp in Developmental Robotics: Issues and Modelling

12. Reaching for Objects: A Neural Process Account in a Developmental Perspective Gregor Schöner, Jan Tekülve, and Stephan Zibner

13. The Development of Reaching and Grasping: Towards an Integrated Framework Based on a Critical Review of Computational and Robotic Models Daniele Caligiore and Gianluca Baldassarre

14. Reaching and Grasping: What We Can Learn from Psychology and Robotics Philippe Gaussier and Alexandre Pitti

About the Editors

Daniela Corbetta is a Professor of Developmental Psychology and the Director of the Infant Perception-Action Laboratory at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, USA.

Marco Santello is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the Director of the Neural Control of Movement Laboratory at Arizona State University in Tempe, USA.

About the Series

Frontiers of Developmental Science

Frontiers of Developmental Science is a series of edited volumes that aims to deliver inclusive developmental perspectives on substantive areas in psychology. Interdisciplinary and life-span oriented in its objectives and coverage, the series underscores the dynamic and exciting status of contemporary developmental science. The goal of Frontiers of Developmental Science is to bring together within each volume many of the leading scientists on fundamental aspects of human development. In each volume, authors and editors strive to integrate distinct theoretical and methodological perspectives, and to offer critical information for future directions in scholarship and practice. Alongside a traditional table of contents, each volume also features a cross-cutting themes chart that shows which chapters align with specific cross-cutting themes pertinent to the field of developmental science. Current and forthcoming volumes span social cognition to executive function, genetic and epigenetic processes, motor development, emotion regulation, and educational neuroscience.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / General