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The HANDS Lab is directed by Dr. Eliza L. Nelson and housed in the Department of Psychology at Florida International University. HANDS is an interdisciplinary blend of developmental science and primatology. Our comparative research largely falls into two broad areas: laterality and motor skill. We are currently working on trajectory-based models for understanding how the hands shape development in infants and children, and characterizing how spider monkeys use their hands using motion tracking. We utilize Noldus Observer software for our human behavior research, and software from Innovision Systems and Animal Behaviour Pro for our animal behavior research. For more information about our active studies and recent findings, please visit our Projects and Reprints pages. HANDS provides rigorous training in the collection and analysis of reaching, grasping, and manipulation in human and nonhuman primates for graduate, undergraduate, and high school students. Please visit our Team page for information about current trainees and opportunities for prospective students.

Newsfeed AY 2019-2020

  • 08/30/2019: Sandy Gonzalez defended her dissertation. Dr. Gonzalez is now a PLAY Project Research Scientist.

  • 12/03/2019: Our systematic review on whether gross and fine motor skills differentially contribute to language outcomes is out in Frontiers in Developmental Psychology.

  • 12/20/2019: Dr. Nelson received a Notice of Award for Year 2 of her NIH grant Infant motor trajectories and language outcomes.

  • 01/30/2020: Our paper showing that toddler hand preference trajectories predict 5-year language outcomes is out in Developmental Psychology.

  • 02/16/2020: Our systematic review on how to measure infant handedness reliably from reaching is out in Laterality.

  • 03/26/2020: Samantha Croney will join the lab in Fall 2020 as a doctoral student in the Developmental Science program.

  • 04/23/2020: Kaityn Contino will join the lab in Fall 2020 as a doctoral student in the Developmental Science program.
  • Upcoming Conference Presentations

  • July 5-9, 2020: Poster to be presented at the International Conference on Infant Studies virtual biennial meeting

  • Rescheduled to September 24-27, 2020: Talk to be given by grad student Emily Boeving at the American Society of Primatologists annual meeting (Denver, CO, USA)

  • Postponed to Summer 2021: Talk to be given by Dr. Nelson at the International Association for the Study of Child Language meeting (Philadelphia, PA, USA)

  • Download prior HANDS Lab conference posters


    Get in Touch

    hands@fiu.edu | 305-348-4032 | Deuxieme Maison (DM) 269A

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