Key finding: extra digits won’t make you all fingers and thumbs

Lifestyle

Key finding: extra digits won’t make you all fingers and thumbs

In a study, it took pianists fitted with an artificial digit next to their little finger just one hour to start using it

Stuart McDill

How would pianists cope with suddenly having two thumbs on one hand? Would their brains become scrambled or would the extra digit add a new dimension to their playing?

Neuroscientist Adlo Faisal and the team he heads at Imperial College London developed a robot thumb to find out.

Within an hour of being fitted with the artificial digit next to the little finger of their right hand, six players had learnt to integrate it on the keyboard, steered by electrical signals generated when they moved their foot...

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