Potential PhD Projects

Dissociations and Interactions in perception and action control

During the last 20 years, the perception-action model (Milner & Goodale, 1995), stating that vision for action and vision for perception are processed in different cortical areas and are fundamentally different, has become one of the most influential theories in Neuropsychology. However, recent research suggests that perception and action processes are more closely interrelated than originally assumed.

In several projects, we investigate whether some of the evidence obtained in favour of the perception-action model can stand up to some critical re-examination testing for alternative explanations.

The role of eye-movements in reaching and grasping

Previous research has shown that eye-movements and hand-movements are closely coupled in natural situations as well as in simple experimental tasks.  That is, if not instructed otherwise, humans tend to look at the location at which an action is directed. In a series of studies, we aim to determine the interrelationship between eye-movements in more complex bimanual tasks in which fixation cannot be kept on all relevant targets during movement execution.

The role of attention in action control

In daily life, simple motor tasks such as reaching and grasping are usually performed concurrently with other perceptual and/or cognitive tasks (e.g. grasping a coffee mug whilst having a conversation). In our studies, we aim to investigate which aspects of grasping require cognitive resources by using motor-cognitive (motor-perceptual) dual-task paradigms. Specifically, we would like to investigate in future projects if the cognitive resources required to perform simple motor tasks vary across different age groups.