When hand meets object, we confront the overlapping worlds of sensorimotor and cognitive functions. We reach for objects, grasp and lift them, manipulate them, and use them to act on other objects. Prehension under visual guidance entails two motor processes: 'reaching' and 'grasping.' Reaching refers to the extension of the arm to touch a distant target, whereas grasping refers to the progressive opening of the hand, with straightening of the fingers, followed by a gradual closure of the hand and fingers (i.e., forming the grip) until the grip matches the object's size. This article examines these two distinct but interconnected processes and reviews core findings in the fields of neuropsychology, neuroimaging, and electrophysiology about the neural correlates of these two actions. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.
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