As you read this web page, you probably have a cup of coffee or bottle
of water nearby. If you need either, it is a simple matter to look
where you remember leaving it, reach out, and accurately pick it up.
Is it really that simple? Think for a moment about how complicated that
process actually is, and how remarkably well you do it. When you reach
out to pick up the cup of coffee, not only do you direct your arm
towards the cup, but the posture of your hand and fingers anticipates
the size, shape, and orientation of the cup well before contact is made.
One of the things that make this possible is your keen sense of
To study how vision is used to control the movements of the hand and arm,
Dr. Marotta uses specialized motion tracking systems to reconstruct the
movements of an individual's fingers, hand, arm and eyes during a
reach. Comparing the performance of intact individuals, and patients
with damage to particular regions of the brain, provides important
insights into how information from the visual system and other
sensory systems is used to control this important human behaviour.
Dr. Marotta also uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to
study areas of the brain that play a role in the visual
control of grasping, arm and eye-movements.
Prime, S.L. & Marotta, J.J. (2013). Gaze strategies during visually-guided versus memory-guided grasping. Experimental Brain Research, 225, 291-305.
Desanghere, L. & Marotta, J.J. (2011). “Graspability” of objects affect gaze patterns during perception and action tasks. Experimental Brain Research, 212(2), 177-187.
Baugh, L.A., Lawrence, J.M. & Marotta, J.J. (2011). Novel insular cortex and claustrum activation observed during a visuomotor adaptation task using a viewing window paradigm. Behavioral Brain Research, 223(2), 395-402.