These Are The Advantages Of Having 6 Fingers

Jun 17, 2019 Kayode Oseh

Some people around the world have polydactyly, meaning that they are born with extra fingers on their hands or extra toes on their feet. Some doctors may refer to this as a "malformation," but is the extra finger completely useless or can it be useful to the individual?

Research have shown that one in every 700–1,000 babies is born with polydactyly, which means they have extra fingers on their hands or extra toes on their feet or both.

Because polydactyly is so unusual, some people may consider it a malformation or anomaly. Many doctors may surgically remove any extra fingers or toes at birth, as they do not consider these digits useful. They may also have concerns about the individual's self-image later in life.

But while its otherworldly aesthetic may be what stands out at first, polydactyly may bring individuals some practical benefits.

This, at least, is what a study from the University of Freiburg in Germany has concluded. The research — which appears in the journal Nature Communications — suggests that people with polydactyly have more dexterity of movement than their counterparts with fewer digits.

6 fingers are as good as 2 hands?

Study have revealed that the extra digits work independently from the other fingers, moved by their own muscles.

"The extra fingers can work independently, similar to an additional thumb, either alone or together with the other five fingers, which makes manipulation extraordinary versatile and skillful.

'Dedicated neural resources' in the brain

Another study finding indicates that the brains has an organized specific resources to control the sixth fingers.

These findings offer not just a better understanding of polydactyly, but also allow scientists to see how people's brains adapt to controlling body parts that are not part of the "original template."
However, this does not necessarily mean that similar functionality can be achieved when artificial limbs are supplemented later in life.

In the future, a better understanding of the brain's ability to rewire in order to accommodate new bodily features could come to the aid of scientists developing wearable robotic limbs that would be able to integrate with a person's nervous system.

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