Extra Fingers....Can Offer Major Dexterity Advantages

Source: Science news


About one in 500 children are born with more than five fingers. One rarely sees them though, because the extra digits are generally considered a malformation and not terribly advantageous. So, they are lopped off shortly after birth.

Having 6 Fingers Is Not as Useless as Doctors Thought, An extra finger can be incredibly handy. Two people born with six fingers per hand can tie their shoes, adroitly manage phones and play a complicated video game — all with a single hand, a study shows.

Brain scans and anatomical MRI scans revealed that the extra fingers are controlled by a dedicated brain system, along with muscles and tendons. That means that these extra fingers aren’t just along for the ride, controlled by the muscles that move the other fingers, as some doctors had thought.

These people’s brains had no trouble directing their extra fingers, the results show. Extra robotic fingers or other appendages controlled by a person’s mind could bring similar increases in neural workloads, though the challenge would be greater for a person not born with the extra digits.

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