We studied how two different hand posture cues affect joint attention in normal observers. Visual targets appeared over lateralized objects, with different delays after centrally presented hand postures. Attention was cued by either hand direction or the congruency between hand aperture and object size. Participants pressed a button when they detected a target. Direction cues alone facilitated target detection following short delays but aperture cues alone were ineffective. In contrast, when hand postures combined direction and aperture cues, aperture congruency effects without directional congruency effects emerged and persisted, but only for power grips. These results suggest that parallel parameter specification makes joint attention mechanisms exquisitely sensitive to the timing and content of contextual cues.