Laurel J. Buxbaum, PsyD

Institute Scientist
Director of Cognition and Action Laboratory
Research Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University
Laurel J. Buxbaum, PsyD

Dr. Buxbaum has a longstanding interest in the cognitive neuroscience of object representations and the relationship of spatial and body processing, and is a recognized expert in the study of action and apraxia. She received a BA in Biological Bases of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982 and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (with specialization in Neuropsychology) from Hahnemann University in 1988. She completed an NIH National Research Service Award Fellowship at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute and the University of Pennsylvania in 1994. 

She has served as an Associate Editor of the journals Cortex, Cognition, and Journal of Neuropsychology, and as a guest Editor of Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, Cognitive Neuroscience, and eLife.  She has also served as an invited panel member at numerous national and international meetings, as a member of scientific planning committees at the National Institute of Health, and on the program committee of the American Society of Neurorehabilitation.

Dr. Buxbaum’s laboratory, the Cognition and Action Laboratory, has received grant funding from the National Institute of Health, National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research, and the James S. McDonnell Foundation. She is the recipient of the Kenneth M. Viste Award of the American Society of Neurorehabilitation, the Arthur S. Benton Mid-Career Award of the International Neuropsychological Society, the Widener University Graduate Award for Excellence in Professional Psychology, the Maimonides Society Manuscript Award, and the Cohen Award for Research Excellence from the Einstein Healthcare Network.

Research Interests
  • The functional neuroanatomy and functional connectivity of the action system in the healthy and damaged brain
  • Competition between actions as a source of action errors, and how such competition is modulated by cognitive control processes
  • Expanding our understanding of “grounded cognition”: the dynamic role of action in tool concepts as a function of context and task
  • Plasticity of sensorimotor representations of body and space coding in the brain
  • Relationships between the language system and skilled action system
Selected Publications

Below are selected publications by Dr. Buxbaum.  For a full list of her published research, click here.


Matheson HE, Garcea FE, Buxbaum LJ. (2021). Scene context shapes category representational geometry during processing of tools. Cortex. 141:1-15. PMID: 34020166
Therrien AS, Howard C, Buxbaum LJ. (2021). Aberrant activity in an intact residual muscle is associated with phantom limb pain in above-knee amputees. Journal of Neurophysiology125(6):2135-2143. PMID: 33949884
Stoll H, de Wit MM, Middleton EL, Buxbaum LJ. Treating limb apraxia via action semantics: a preliminary study. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation. 31(7):1145-1162. PMID: 32429797


Buxbaum LJ, Varghese R, Stoll H, Winstein CJ. Predictors of Arm Nonuse in Chronic Stroke: A Preliminary Investigation. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. 34(6):512-522. Epub 2020 Jun 1. PMID: 32476616
Vigliocco G, Krason A, Stoll H, Monti A, Buxbaum LJ. (2020). Multimodal comprehension in left hemisphere stroke patients. Cortex. 133:309-327. PMID: 33161278
Garcea FE, Greene C, Grafton ST, Buxbaum LJ. (2020). Structural Disconnection of the Tool Use Network after Left Hemisphere Stroke Predicts Limb Apraxia Severity. Cerebral Cortex Communications. Epub 2020 Jul 28. PMID: 33134927
Buxbaum, LJ, Kalenine, S. Limb apraxia: A disorder at the cognitive-motor interface. In Poeppel, M., Mangun R., Gazzaniga, D. The Cognitive Neurosciences (6th Ed). Cambridge: MIT Press, May, 2020


Garcea FE, Buxbaum LJ(2019).  Gesturing tool use and tool transport actions modulates inferior parietal functional connectivity with the dorsal and ventral object processing pathways.  Human Brain Mapping.  PMID: 30900321.
Howard CM, Smith LL, Coslett HB, Buxbaum LJ. (2019). The role of conflict, feedback, and action comprehension in monitoring of action errors:  Evidence for internal and external routes.  Cortex, 115:184-200.  PMID: 30831536
Wong AL, Jax SA, Smith LL, Buxbaum LJ, Krakauer JW(2019). Movement imitation via an abstract trajectory representation in dorsal premotor cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, pii: 2597-18.  PMID: 30804087
Watson CE, Gotts SJ, Martin A, Buxbaum LJ(2019). Bilateral functional connectivity at rest predicts apraxic symptoms after left hemisphere stroke. Neuroimage: Clinical, 21:101526.  PMCID: PMC6319198


Buxbaum LJ, Randerath J. (2018). Limb apraxia and the left parietal lobe.
Handbook of Clinical Neurology, 151, 349-363.  PMID: 29519468
Ambron E, Miller A, Kuchenbecker KJ, Buxbaum LJ, Coslett HB. (2018). Immersive low-cost virtual reality treatment for phantom limb pain: Evidence from two cases. Frontiers in Neurology, 9:67. PMCID: PMC5825921
Lee CL, Huang HW, Federmeier KD, Buxbaum LJ. (2018).  Sensory and semantic activations evoked by action attributes of manipulable objects:  Evidence from ERPs. Neuroimage. 167, 331-341.  PMCID: PMC5898371


Buxbaum, LJ. (2017). Learning, remembering, and predicting how to use tools: Distributed neurocognitive mechanisms. Psychological Review, 124(3). PMCID: PMC5375056
De Wit, M, Buxbaum, LJ. (2017). Critical motor involvement in the prediction of human and non-human actions. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 23(2). PMCID: PMC5360459
Matheson, H, Buxbaum, LJ, Thompson-Schill, S. (2017). Differential tuning of ventral and dorsal streams during the generation of common and uncommon tool uses. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 29(11),1791-1802. PMC5623132


Kalénine, S, Buxbaum, L.J. (2016). Thematic knowledge, artifact concepts, and the left posterior temporal lobe: where action and object semantics converge. Cortex, 82: 164-178. PMID: 27389801
Soliman, T., Buxbaum, LJ, Jax, SA. (2016). The mirror illusion’s effects on body state estimation. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 33(1-2): 102-11. PMID: 27390062


Watson, C. E., & Buxbaum, L. J. (2015). A distributed network critical for selecting among tool-directed actions. Cortex65, 65-82. PMID: 25681649.
Tarhan, LY, Watson, CE, Buxbaum, LJ. (2015). Shared and distinct neuroanatomic regions critical for tool-related action production and recognition: Evidence from 131 left hemisphere stroke patients. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 27(12): 2491-511. PMID: 26351989Bark, K., Hyman, E., Tan, F., Cha, E., Jax, S. A., Buxbaum, L. J., & Kuchenbecker, K. J. (2015). Effects of Vibrotactile Feedback on Human Learning of Arm Motions. Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on23(1), 51-63. PMID: 25486644


Kalénine, S., Shapiro, A. D., Flumini, A., Borghi, A. M., & Buxbaum, L. J. (2014). Visual context modulates potentiation of grasp types during semantic object categorization. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review21(3), 645-651. PMID: 24186270
Tsagkaridis, K., Watson, C. E., Jax, S. A., & Buxbaum, L. J. (2014). The role of action representations in thematic object relations. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 140. PMID: 24672461
Buxbaum, L. J., Shapiro, A. D., & Coslett, H. B. (2014). Critical brain regions for tool-related and imitative actions: a componential analysis. Brain, 137(7), 1971–1985. PMID:24776969
Lee, C. I., Mirman, D., & Buxbaum, L. J. (2014). Abnormal dynamics of activation of object use information in apraxia: evidence from eyetracking. Neuropsychologia59, 13-26. PMID:24746946
Watson, C. E., & Buxbaum, L. J. (2014). Uncovering the architecture of action semantics. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 40(5), 1832-1848. PMID:25045905
Jax, S. A., Rosa-Leyra, D. L., & Buxbaum, L. J. (2014). Conceptual-and production-related predictors of pantomimed tool use deficits in apraxia. Neuropsychologia62, 194-201.PMID:25107676


Jax, S. A., & Buxbaum, L. J. (2013). Response interference between functional and structural object‐related actions is increased in patients with ideomotor apraxia. Journal of Neuropsychology7(1), 12-18. PMID: 22515637
Binkofski, F., & Buxbaum, L. J. (2013). Two action systems in the human brain. Brain and Language127(2), 222-229. PMID: 22889467
Lee, C. L., Middleton, E., Mirman, D., Kalénine, S., & Buxbaum, L. J. (2013). Incidental and context-responsive activation of structure-and function-based action features during object identification. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human perception and Performance39(1), 257-270. PMID: 22390294
Kalénine, S., Shapiro, A. D., Buxbaum, L. J. (2013). Processing of action means and outcome in left hemisphere stroke. Neuropsychologia, 51(7), 1224-1233. PMID: 23566892


Kalenine, S., Mirman, D., & Buxbaum, L. J. (2012). A Combination of Thematic and Similarity-Based Semantic Processes Confers Resistance to Deficit Following Left Hemisphere Stroke. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience6, 106. PMID: 22586383
Kalénine, S., Mirman, D., Middleton, E. L., & Buxbaum, L. J. (2012). Temporal dynamics of activation of thematic and functional knowledge during conceptual processing of manipulable artifacts. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition38(5), 1274-1295. PMID: 22449134
Buxbaum, L. J., Dawson, A. M., & Linsley, D. (2012). Reliability and validity of the Virtual Reality Lateralized Attention Test in assessing hemispatial neglect in right-hemisphere stroke. Neuropsychology26(4), 430-441. PMID: 22642393


Sathian, K., Buxbaum, L. J., Cohen, L. G., Krakauer, J. W., Lang, C. E., Corbetta, M., & Fitzpatrick, S. M. (2011). Neurological Principles and Rehabilitation of Action Disorders Common Clinical Deficits. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair25(5 suppl), 21S-32S. PMID: 21613535
Palluel-Germain, R., Jax, S. A., & Buxbaum, L. J. (2011). Visuo-motor gain adaptation and generalization following left hemisphere stroke. Neuroscience Letters498(3), 222-226. PMID: 21605626
Bark, K., Khanna, P., Irwin, R., Kapur, P., Jax, S. A., & Buxbaum, L. J., et al. (2011). Lessons in using vibrotactile feedback to guide fast arm motions. In Proceedings of the 2011 IEEE World Haptics Conference (pp. 355–360). IEEE.


Dawson, A. M., Buxbaum, L. J., & Duff, S. V. (2010). The impact of left hemisphere stroke on force control with familiar and novel objects: Neuroanatomic substrates and relationship to apraxia. Brain Research1317, 124-136. PMID: 19945445
Myung, J. Y., Blumstein, S. E., Yee, E., Sedivy, J. C., Thompson-Schill, S. L., & Buxbaum, L. J. (2010). Impaired access to manipulation features in apraxia: evidence from eyetracking and semantic judgment tasks. Brain and Language,112(2), 101-112. PMID: 20064657
Jax, S. A., & Buxbaum, L. J. (2010). Response interference between functional and structural actions linked to the same familiar object. Cognition115(2), 350-355. PMID: 20156619
Buxbaum, L. J., & Kalénine, S. (2010). Action knowledge, visuomotor activation, and embodiment in the two action systems. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences1191(1), 201-218. PMID: 20392282
Kalénine, S., Buxbaum, L. J., Coslett, H. B. (2010). Critical brain regions for action recognition: lesion-symptom mapping in left hemisphere stroke. Brain, 133(11), 3269-3280. PMID: 20805101


Jax, S. A., Buxbaum, L. J., Lie, E., & Coslett, H. B. (2009). More than (where the target) meets the eyes: Disrupted visuomotor transformations in optic ataxia.  Neuropsychologia47(1), 230-238. PMID: 18725238
Botvinick, M. M., Buxbaum, L. J., Bylsma, L. M., & Jax, S. A. (2009). Toward an integrated account of object and action selection: a computational analysis and empirical findings from reaching-to-grasp and tool-use. Neuropsychologia47(3), 671-683. PMID: 19100758


Coslett, H. B., Buxbaum, L. J., & Schwoebel, J. (2008). Accurate reaching after active but not passive movements of the hand: Evidence for forward modeling. Behavioural Neurology, 19, 117–125. PMID: 18641431
Buxbaum, L. J., Haaland, K. Y., Hallett, M., Wheaton, L., Heilman, K. M., Rodriguez, A., & Rothi, L. J. G. (2008). Treatment of limb apraxia: moving forward to improved action. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation87(2), 149-161. PMID: 18209511
Buxbaum, L. J., Palermo, M. A., Mastrogiovanni, D., Read, M. S., Rosenberg-Pitonyak, E., Rizzo, A. A., & Coslett, H. B. (2008). Assessment of spatial attention and neglect with a virtual wheelchair navigation task. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology30(6), 650-660. PMID: 18608643
Hamilton, R. H., Coslett, H. B., Buxbaum, L. J., Whyte, J., & Ferraro, M. K. (2008). Inconsistency of performance on neglect subtype tests following acute right hemisphere stroke. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society14(1), 23-32. PMID: 18078528
Dawson, A., Buxbaum, L. J., & Rizzo, A. A. (2008). The Virtual Reality Lateralized Attention Test: Sensitivity and validity of a new clinical tool for assessing hemispatial neglect. Virtual Rehabilitation, 2008, (77–82).


Buxbaum, L. J., Kyle, K., Grossman, M., & Coslett, B. (2007). Left inferior parietal representations for skilled hand-object interactions: evidence from stroke and corticobasal degeneration. Cortex43(3), 411-423. PMID: 17533764
Buxbaum, L. J., Ferraro, M., Whyte, J., Gershkoff, A., & Coslett, H. B. (2007). Amantadine treatment of hemispatial neglect: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation86(7), 527-537. PMID: 17581287
Giovannetti, T., Schwartz, M. F., & Buxbaum, L. J. (2007). The coffee challenge: A new method for the study of everyday action errors. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology29(7), 690-705. PMID: 17891679
Barde, L. H., Buxbaum, L. J., & Moll, A. D. (2007). Abnormal reliance on object structure in apraxics’ learning of novel object-related actions. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society13(6), 997-1008. PMID: 17942018


Biran, I., Giovannetti, T., Buxbaum, L. J., & Chatterjee, A. (2006). The alien hand syndrome: What makes the alien hand alien?. Cognitive Neuropsychology,23(4), 563-582. PMID: 21049344
Barrett, A. M., Buxbaum, L. J., Coslett, H. B., Edwards, E., Heilman, K. M., Hillis, A. E., … & Robertson, I. H. (2006). Cognitive rehabilitation interventions for neglect and related disorders: moving from bench to bedside in stroke patients. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience18(7), 1223-1236. PMID: 16839294
McCrea, S. M., Buxbaum, L. J., & Coslett, H. B. (2006). Illusory conjunctions in simultanagnosia: Coarse coding of visual feature location?. Neuropsychologia44(10), 1724-1736. PMID: 16643968
Buxbaum, LJ, Palermo, M, Mastrogiovanni, D, Read, MS, Rosenberg-Pitonyak, E, Rizzo, AA, Coslett, H.B. (2006). Assessment of Spatial Neglect with a Virtual Wheelchair Navigation Task. IEEE XPlore, 650-660. PMID: 18608643
Jax, S. A., Buxbaum, L. J., & Moll, A. D. (2006). Deficits in movement planning and intrinsic coordinate control in ideomotor apraxia. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience18(12), 2063-2076. PMID: 17129191
Buxbaum, L. J., Kyle, K. M., Tang, K., & Detre, J. A. (2006). Neural substrates of knowledge of hand postures for object grasping and functional object use: Evidence from fMRI. Brain Research1117(1), 175-185. PMID: 16962075


Giovannetti, T., Buxbaum, L. J., Biran, I., & Chatterjee, A. (2005). Reduced endogenous control in alien hand syndrome: evidence from naturalistic action. Neuropsychologia43(1), 75-88. PMID: 15488908
Buxbaum, L. J., Johnson-Frey, S. H., & Bartlett-Williams, M. (2005). Deficient internal models for planning hand–object interactions in apraxia. Neuropsychologia43(6), 917-929. PMID: 15716162
Boronat, C. B., Buxbaum, L. J., Coslett, H. B., Tang, K., Saffran, E. M., Kimberg, D. Y., & Detre, J. A. (2005). Distinctions between manipulation and function knowledge of objects: evidence from functional magnetic resonance imaging. Cognitive Brain Research23(2-3), 361-373. PMID: 15820643
Buxbaum, L. J., Kyle, K. M., & Menon, R. (2005). On beyond mirror neurons: Internal representations subserving imitation and recognition of skilled object-related actions in humans. Cognitive Brain Research25(1), 226-239. PMID: 15996857

Selected Publications Prior to 2005

Buxbaum, L. J., Giovannetti, T., & Libon, D. (2000). The role of the dynamic body schema in praxis: Evidence from primary progressive apraxia. Brain and Cognition44(2), 166-191. PMID: 11041988
Buxbaum, L. J., & Saffran, E. M. (2002). Knowledge of object manipulation and object function: dissociations in apraxic and nonapraxic subjects. Brain and Language82(2), 179-199. PMID: 12096875
Buxbaum, L. J., Schwartz, M. F., & Carew, T. G. (1997). The role of semantic memory in object use. Cognitive Neuropsychology14(2), 219-254. PMID: 19482039
Buxbaum, L. J., Sirigu, A., Schwartz, M. F., & Klatzky, R. (2003). Cognitive representations of hand posture in ideomotor apraxia. Neuropsychologia41(8), 1091-1113. PMID: 12667544
Pavese, A., & Buxbaum, L. J. (2002). Action matters: The role of action plans and object affordances in selection for action. Visual Cognition9(4-5), 559-590.