Six-Finger Mutation investigated for the first time scientifically

Polydactyly Mutation from forms six fingers on one Hand

When people from birth have more than five fingers or toes on hands or feet is called Polydactyly. This Mutation is an advantage or a disadvantage for the Affected? This is the Central theme of a recent study. The researchers showed that people with six fingers, are capable of movements with only one Hand to perform for the other people, both hands need.

In a recent study, a research was looking for the team of the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, what movement have skills people with Polydactyly, the extra Finger affects the brain. The researchers were the first to show that areas in the brains of Affected the motor control of the sixth finger specialized. As a result, much more complex motion sequences open, according to the study, as in the case of the classic Five-Finger Hand. The results were recently published in the renowned scientific journal “Nature Communications”.

Six fingers are better than five

For the first time, was investigated in a case study of a rare Polydactyly Mutation. To do this, the researchers gave the Participants, all with six fingers on one Hand, several behavioral experiments to be run and observed using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of their brain activity. “We wanted to find out whether the motor abilities of these individuals go beyond those of people with five fingers, and how the brain is able to control these additional degrees of freedom,” explains Professor Dr. Carsten Mehring, the aim of the study.

Own muscles, your own nerves and own regions of the brain

The researchers discovered ends Amazing: The extra Finger is moved by its own muscles and nerves. As a result, the Finger can operate completely independent of the other fingers. “Our volunteers can use their extra Finger, similar to another thumb, and that alone, or together with the other five fingers,” says Professor Mehring. As a result, the Hand let extraordinarily versatile and clever use. The Participants with Polydactyly were able to perform many of the tasks of the study with only one Hand, for the other people, both hands required.

The brain can control the increased degree of freedom

It was also surprising how the brain deals with the additional freedom of movement. “Although the brain needs to control this higher degree of freedom, we have not found any disadvantages compared to people with five fingers,” explains Professor Dr. Etienne Burdet in a press release of the study results. The brain have enough capacity for the control of the sixth finger free, without having to go elsewhere to lose some of its.

What happens in the brains of people with Polydactyly?

High-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging opened the researchers unknown insights into the brains of people with Polydactyly solenoid yet. “We were able to find dedicated neural activities in control of the sixth Finger, and the somatosensory and motor cortex are precisely organized so that they allow for the observed additional motor skills,” explains Dr. Andrea Serino, the brain activities.

Results could contribute to the development of artificial limb

The researchers suggest these results could contribute to the development of additional artificial limbs to the enlargement of human movement capabilities. This opens up completely new possibilities. So a Surgeon could, and surgeons, for example, operations without assistance to perform. Such research areas, however, still in its infancy. “However, people with Polydactyly open up a unique opportunity to analyze the neural control of additional limbs and the possibilities of sensorimotor skills,” concludes the research team. (vb)

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