Goal-directed grasping and manipulation of objects are human skills that depend on automatic sensory control in which predictive feed-forward mechanisms integrate somatosensory and visual signals with sensory-motor memory systems. Memory representations of physical and task-relevant properties of the object play a pivotal role. Anticipatory strategies are crucial when purposeful actions arise from learned relationships between afferent patterns and efferent commands. The development of even elementary precision grip skills is a protracted process not concluded until early adolescence. Not surprisingly, the neural control of manual actions engages most central nervous system areas known to be involved in motor control.