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College of the Liberal Arts

PSU ShieldPsychology Banner ImageDepartment ofPsychology

David Rosenbaum
Distinguished Professor of Psychology

Ph. D., Stanford, 1977


Mailing Address

Department of Psychology
The Pennsylvania State University
448 Moore Bldg.
University Park, PA 16802-3106


814 863-1991


814 863-7002

Research Interests

David Rosenbaum is interested in the cognitive substrates of skilled performance, especially those underlying human motor control and perceptual-motor integration. He focuses on the planning and control of manual performance (mainly reaching and grasping objects), using computer modeling and recording of behavior. He also works on rhythm and timing, temporal coordination of cognitive and perceptual-motor activities, and how people organize their external environments.

Recent Publications

Cohen, R. G. & Rosenbaum, D. A. (2011). Prospective and retrospective effects in human motor control: Planning grasps for object rotation and translation. Psychological Research, 75, 341-349.

Rosenbaum, D. A., Brach, M., & Semenov, A. (2011). Behavioral ecology meets motor behavior: Choosing between walking and reaching paths. Journal of Motor Behavior, 43, 131-136.

Santamaria, J. P. & Rosenbaum, D. A. (2011). Etiquette and effort: Holding doors for others. Psychological Science, 22, 584-588.

Chapman, K. M., Weiss, D. J. & Rosenbaum, D. A. (2010). Evolutionary roots of motor planning: The end-state comfort effect in lemurs (Lemur catta, Eulemur mongoz, Eulemur coronatus, Eulemur collaris, Hapalemur griseus, and Varecia rubra). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 124, 229–232.

Cohen, R., Biddle, J., & Rosenbaum, D. A. (2010). Manual obstacle avoidance takes account of biomechanical costs, visual uncertainty, and motor output variability. Experimental Brain Research, 201, 87-592.

Rosenbaum, D. A. (2010). Human Motor Control (Second Edition). San Diego: Academic Press/Elsevier.

Rosenbaum, D. A., Coelho, C. J., Rhode, J. D., & Santamaria, J. P. (2010). Psychologically distinct classes of motor behavior inferred from individual differences: Evidence from a sequential stacking task. Journal of Motor Behavior, 42,187-194.

Van der Wel, R. P., Sternad, D., & Rosenbaum, D. A. (2010). Moving the hand at different rates: Avoiding slow movements. Journal of Motor Behavior, 42, 29-36.

Van der Wel, R. P. & Rosenbaum, D. A. (2010). Bimanual grasp planning reflects changing rather than fixed constraint dominance. Experimental Brain Research, 205, 351-362.

Vaughan, J., Barany, D. A., Sali, A. W., Jax, S. A., & Rosenbaum, D. A. (2010). Extending Fitts’ Law to three-dimensional obstacle-avoidance movements: Support for the posture-based motion planning model. Experimental Brain Research, 207, 133-138.

Zelaznik, H. N. & Rosenbaum, D. A. (2010). Timing processes are correlated when tasks share a salient event. Journal of  Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 36, 1565–1575.