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.


  • 05/21/2024: Atefeh Karimi presented on when handedness stabilizes in preschoolers at ICDL 2024.

  • 05/14/2024: Atefeh Karimi advanced to candidacy and proposed her dissertation on fine motor skills and hand preference consistency in children.

  • View Newsfeed Archive for HANDS Lab updates from prior academic years

    Upcoming Conference Presentations

  • 06/10-12/2024: Grad student Kate Long will present at the AAIDD annual meeting in Louisville, KY

  • 07/08-11/2024: Grad student Kaityn Contino will present at the ICIS biennial meeting in Glasgow, Scotland

  • 09/08-11/2024: Grad student Chris Shoukry will present at the ASP annual meeting in Riviera Maya, Mexico

  • Download prior HANDS Lab conference posters

    Get in Touch

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

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