Dalhousie University, 2007, BSc. (Biology)
University of Lethbridge, 2012, MSc. (Kinesiology)
University of Lethbridge, 2017, PhD. (Neuroscience)

Click here for my CV (updated August 2019)

I grew up in Nova Scotia, just outside of Halifax. I obtained a BSc in Biology from Dalhousie University in 2007 before I realized that Biology was no fun. So, I went back to school in 2009, this time in Lethbridge Alberta, aiming for a degree in Kinesiology. After a year, I was recruited into the graduate program there by Dr. Claudia Gonzalez; together we studied task-dependent kinematic asymmetries in reach-to-grasp actions (a fancy way of saying that you shape your right hand differently if you’re grasping-to-eat something, compared to when you’re grasping-to-place the same exact item). I received a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Lethbridge in August 2017, and officially joined the BAR lab as a postdoc about a week later.

My research focuses on a seemingly simple question: why are we right-handed? We are unique among the great apes in that some 90% of us prefer to use our right-hands for grasping, pointing, and other prehensile actions. However, there doesn’t seem to be any clear reason why this should be; we prefer to use our right hands for grasping, but our left hands are just as good (kinematically speaking) at accomplishing most everyday grasping tasks. Is our right-hand preference shaped by training? Maybe, but then again left-handers prefer to use their right hands for a surprising number of tasks, including some for which there is no obvious environmental reason (grasping very small items, for example). Hemispheric asymmetries in the brain? Maybe, but left/right hand use asymmetries can be found prenatally, before the brain is even connected to those hands. Is it some advantage in how we process right or left visual space? Maybe, but most evidence suggests a slight advantage for processing vision in the left hemifield.

So, why are we right-handed? It’s probably because of interactions with language, buuuuuut I’m not 100% convinced yet. If anyone knows for sure, give me a hint (but don’t tell me; I don’t want to ruin the surprise).

Click here for my CV (updated October 2018)

  • Behavioural asymmetries (reaching kinematics, grasping kinematics, gaze behaviours, etc.)
  • Cognition and Perception (as they relate and contribute to action)
  • Cortical organization of movement production
  • Handedness – measurement and assessment techniques
  • Virtual/Augmented/Mixed Reality – UI/UX factors

Click here for my CV (updated August 2019)

Working on it (hold tight, it’s coming):

Flindall, J.W., Sinnet, S., and Kingstone, A.K. (submitted August 2019). The quiet eye fixation does not improve accuracy in unpractised throws among expert dart throwers. 1-10.

Flindall, Anderson, and Kingstone (in preparation). The gap effect in VR // Head and eye movements in virtual reality (untitled).

 

Published (click to read):

Flindall, J., & Gonzalez, C. L. (2019). On the Neurocircuitry of Grasping: The influence of action intent on kinematic asymmetries in reach-to-grasp actions. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 1-20.

Flindall, J. W., & Gonzalez, C. L. (2018). Wait wait, don’t tell me: Handedness questionnaires do not predict hand preference for grasping. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, 1-21.

van Rootselaar, N.A., Flindall, J.W., and Gonzalez, C.L. (2018). Hear speech, change your reach: changes in the left-hand grasp-to-eat action during speech processing. Experimental brain research, 1-11.

Beke, C., Flindall, J. W., & Gonzalez, C. L. (2018). Kinematics of ventrally mediated grasp-to-eat actions: right-hand advantage is dependent on dorsal stream input. Experimental brain research, 1-10.

Flindall, J. W., & Gonzalez, C. L. (2017). The inimitable mouth: task-dependent kinematic differences are independent of terminal precision. Experimental Brain Research, 235(6), 1945-1952.

Flindall, J. W., & Gonzalez, C. L. (2016). The destination defines the journey: An examination of the kinematics of hand-to-mouth movements. Journal of Neurophysiology, 116(5), 2105-2113.

Flindall, J. W., & Gonzalez, C. L. (2015). Children’s bilateral advantage for grasp-to-eat actions becomes unimanual by age 10 years. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 133, 57-71.

Gonzalez, C. L., Flindall, J. W., & Stone, K. D. (2015). Hand preference across the lifespan: Effects of end-goal, task nature, and object location. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1579.

Flindall, J. W., Stone, K. D., & Gonzalez, C. L. (2014). Evidence for right-hand feeding biases in a left-handed population. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, 20(3), 287-305.

Flindall, J. W., & Gonzalez, C. L. (2014). Eating interrupted: The effect of intent on hand-to-mouth actions. Journal of Neurophysiology, 112(8), 2019-2025.

Flindall, J. W., Doan, J. B., & Gonzalez, C. L. (2014). Manual asymmetries in the kinematics of a reach-to-grasp action. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, 19(4), 489-507.

Flindall, J. W., & Gonzalez, C. L. (2013). On the Evolution of Handedness: Evidence for Feeding Biases. PloS one, 8(11), e78967.