Dr. Rob Whitwell is a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. James Enns' Vision Laboratory at the University of British Columbia. His postdoctoral work involves the study of how the geometry of goal objects influences our movements aimed at them, the susceptibility of rapid reaching and grasping movements to the emotional content of visual targets and illusory contexts, and the utility of eye and limb movements as non-report-based measures of awareness and as diagnostic indicators of cognitive bias in gambling contexts.
My area of interest is the visual control of goal-directed movements. My research involves the use of equipment that measures eye and limb position over time at fine spatial and temporal resolutions which allows me to test models about organization of the visual system in neurologically intact and damaged populations. I have also used functional magnetic resonance imaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation to directly test causal brain-behaviour relationships. My studies contribute to our basic understanding of how the brain transforms sensory input into coordinated eye and limb movements to physically interact with our environment. Although my work has immediate theoretical and methodological implications for sensorimotor integration, my long-term aim is to aid in the development of applications in medicine and engineering.
Striemer CL, Whitwell RL, Goodale MA (in press) Affective blindsight in the absence of input from face processing regions in occipital-temporal cortex. Neuropsychologia.
Whitwell RL (in press) The Dorsal Stream. Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science
Whitwell RL (in press) The Ventral Stream. Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science
Tang R, Ren S, Enns JT, Whitwell RL. (2018). The left hand disrupts subsequent right hand grasping when their actions overlap. Acta Psychologica, 188:131–138.
Whitwell RL, Goodale MA, Merritt KE, Enns JT (2018) The Sander parallelogram illusion dissociates action and perception despite control for the litany of past confounds. Cortex 98:163–176.
Pesquita A, Whitwell RL, Enns JT (2017). Predictive joint-action model: A hierarchical predictive approach to human cooperation. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 1–19.
Chouinard PA, Meena DK, Whitwell RL, Hilchey MD, Goodale MA (2017). A TMS investigation on the role of lateral occipital complex and caudal intraparietal sulcus in the perception of object form and orientation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 29(5):881–895.
Whitwell RL, Goodale MA (2016) Real and illusory issues in the illusion debate (Why two things are sometimes better than one): Commentary on Kopiske et al. (2016)
Tang R, Whitwell RL, Goodale MA (2016) Unusual hand postures but not familiar tools show motor equivalence with precision grasping. Cognition 151:28–36.
Whitwell RL, Buckingham G, Enns JT, Chouinard PA, Goodale MA (2016) Rapid Decrement in the Effects of the Ponzo Display Dissociates Action and Perception. Psychonomic Bulletin Review 23:1157–1163.
Foley RT, Whitwell RL, Goodale MA (2015) The two-visual-systems hypothesis and the perspectival features of visual experience. Consciousness and Cognition 35:225–233.
Whitwell RL, Ganel T, Byrne CM, Goodale MA (2015) Real-time vision, tactile cues, and visual form agnosia in pantomimed grasping: removing haptic feedback induces a switch from natural to pantomime-like grasps. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9:1–18.
Whitwell RL, Milner AD, Cavina-Pratesi C, Barat M, Goodale MA (2015) Patient DF’s visual brain in action: Visual feedforward control in a patient with visual form agnosa. Vision Research 110:265–276.
Tang R, Whitwell RL, Goodale MA (2015) The influence of visual feedback from the recent past on the programming of grip aperture is grasp-specific, shared between hands, and mediated by sensorimotor memory not task set. Cognition 138:49–63.
Whitwell RL, Milner AD, Goodale MA (2014) The Two Visual Systems Hypothesis: New challenges and insights from visual form agnosic patient DF. Frontiers in Neurology 5:1–8.
Whitwell RL, Milner DA, Cavina-Pratesi C, Byrne CM, Goodale MA (2014) DF’s Visual Brain in Action: the role of tactile cues. Neuropsychologia 55:41–50.
Tang R, Whitwell RL, Goodale MA (2014) Explicit knowledge about the availability of visual feedback affects grasping with the left but not the right hand. Experimental Brain Research 232:293–302.
Whitwell RL, Goodale MA (2013) Grasping without Vision: Time normalizing grip aperture profiles yields spurious grip scaling to target size. Neuropsychologia 51:1878–1887.
Whitwell RL, Buckingham G (2013) Re-framing the Action and Perception Dissociation in DF: Haptics matter, but how? Journal of Neurophysiology, 109:621–624.
Whitwell RL, Striemer CL, Nichols D, Goodale MA (2011) Grasping the non-conscious: Preserved grip scaling to unseen objects for immediate but not delayed grasping following unilateral lesions to primary visual cortex. Vision Research, 51:908–924.
Chouinard PA, Whitwell RL, Goodale MA (2009) The lateral-occipital and the inferior-frontal cortex play different roles during the naming of visually-presented objects. Human Brain Mapping, 30:3851–3864.
Whitwell RL, Goodale MA (2009) Updating the programming of a precision grip is a function of recent history of available feedback. Experimental Brain Research, 194:619–629.
Whitwell RL, Lambert L, Goodale MA (2008) Grasping Future Events: explicit knowledge of the availability of visual feedback fails to reliably influence prehension. Experimental Brain Research 188:603–611.
Gonzalez CLR, Ganel T, Whitwell RL, Morrissey B, Goodale MA (2008) Practice Makes perfect, but only with the right hand: Sensitivity to perceptual illusions with Awkward grasps decreases with practice in the right but not the left hand. Neuropsychologia 46:624–631.
Gonzalez CLR, Whitwell RL, Morrissey B, Ganel T, Goodale MA (2007) Left handedness does not extend to visually guided precision grasping. Experimental Brain Research 182:275–279.
- Winter Workshop on Consciousness. Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) (2018)
- Postdoctoral Fellowship, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) (2016-2018)
- Operational Sub Grant Duke University (2017)
- Fellow of the Summer Seminars in Neuroscience and Philosophy at Duke University (2016)
- Ontario Graduate Scholarship with Distinction (2013–2014)
- Western Graduate Research Scholarship (2008-2014)
- Post-Graduate Scholarship Doctoral Level Scholarship, NSERC (2010-2014)
- Canadian Graduate Scholarship Postgraduate Masters Level Award, NSERC (2009-2010)