The Deciding Hand: Understanding Attention and Cognition by Studying Reaching Movements
Craig Chapman
University of Alberta

Despite the fact that the brain is flooded with a river of information, we are only aware of a few tiny drops. In this talk, I will argue that these precious drops emerge from a complex competition for neural resources, with the winners being specifically channeled for their use in guiding efficient actions. To provide context, I will discuss broad theoretical frameworks which propose that actions provide a read out of selective attention processes mediated by topographic maps of behavioral relevance. I will then discuss specific examples from my own work where we combine motion-tracking, eye-tracking, electroencephalography and computational modelling, to reveal the precise way in which the structure of the environment, incoming sensory information, and internally generated choice biases affect the movement of the reaching hand in real time.