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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.