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Science & Technology

It's official - six fingers are better than five

June 5, 2019 | Comment icon 12 comments



Shopping for gloves may still prove a challenge. Image Credit: YouTube / Imperial College London
Individuals born with six fingers on each hand are able to perform tasks that usually require two hands.
In a recent study, an international team of scientists looked at the manipulation skills and abilities of individuals with six fingers as well as how the brain adapts to an above-normal number of digits.

It turns out that the additional fingers, far from being useless extras, can pick up and manipulate objects with just as much precision as the traditional five fingers that the rest of us are born with.

In some cases, they can even be used to perform complex tasks with just one hand.
The scientists discovered that the additional abilities of the two extra fingers are made possible by dedicated areas in the sensorimotor areas of the brain.

"Despite the extra finger increasing the number of degrees of freedom that the brain has to control, we found no disadvantages relative to five-finger people," said Prof. Dr. Etienne Burdet.

"In a nutshell, it is amazing that the brain has enough capacity to do it without sacrificing elsewhere."

The researchers now hope to harness the findings for use in the development of artificial limbs.



Source: Science Daily | Comments (12)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by Eldorado 3 years ago
"Polydactyly is associated with different mutations, either mutations in a gene itself or in a cis-regulatory element responsible for the expression of a specific gene." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polydactyly "During normal embryonic development (while the baby is still in the womb), the hand initially forms in the shape of a paddle, and then—at about the sixth or seventh week of gestation—splits into separate fingers. Polydactyly results if there’s an irregularity in this process: An extra finger forms when a single finger splits in two. "The vast majority of occurrences of polydactyly are... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by docyabut2 3 years ago
That's the problem in cancer, we can clone a cell and divide a cell, but we cant stopped a cell.   Did you know in China they put a clone cell into a man that created hair ,bone and teeth in him, we got to find out how to stopped cancer "( and be a  normal embryonic development  
Comment icon #5 Posted by avtomat47 3 years ago
Someone needs to teach them guitar.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Timothy 3 years ago
Buying gloves would suck. 
Comment icon #7 Posted by joshy 3 years ago
So it takes them 15 times longer to tie their shoes when on their lap? No information on what they are typing. I assume it is also 15 times slower. Looking at the actual video they use as few fingers as i do. I type at a modest 100 words a minute using a 5 finger no look method.
Comment icon #8 Posted by TripGun 3 years ago
"Look how much more thinking that person can do with two heads" -Fukushima Quality Control Manager
Comment icon #9 Posted by FlyingAngel 3 years ago
Good. Now let's breed !
Comment icon #10 Posted by Jon the frog 3 years ago
Hard to see do he have two opposables fingers or just the thumb ? Holy cow.. just looked polydactyly on google image... that's an horrible sight but a lot less than harlequin babies....
Comment icon #11 Posted by godnodog 3 years ago
6 fingers?! Pfff!!! That?s so yesterday, now it?s 7 and 1/23 fingers...
Comment icon #12 Posted by docyabut2 3 years ago
Well I still think it was twin cell.


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