People have always been fascinated by the exquisite precision and flexibility of the human hand. When hand meets object, we confront the overlapping worlds of sensorimotor and cognitive functions. We reach for objects, grasp and lift them, manipulate them and use them to act on other objects. This review examines one of these actions--grasping. Recent research in behavioural neuroscience, neuroimaging and electrophysiology has the potential to reveal where in the brain the process of grasping is organized, but has yet to address several questions about the sensorimotor transformations that relate to the control of the hands.