Foot artists have a unique and handy leg-up – ‘toe maps’ in the ...

World

Foot artists have a unique and handy leg-up – ‘toe maps’ in the brain

Painters born without arms have been found to develop a mental map of each toe - so, are we all born with this trait?

AFP

Artists who paint with their feet because they were born without arms have individualised areas of the brain assigned to each of their toes, a trait not found in handed people, scientists have reported.

Their paper, published in the journal Cell Reports, raises intriguing questions about brain plasticity early in life: are humans born with so-called toe maps that most lose as a result of not using their feet for intricate tasks because they wear shoes?

Or, are we born without this trait but develop it if the body is used in particularly dexterous ways?..

This article is reserved for registered Times Select readers.
Simply register at no cost to proceed. If you've already registered, sign in below.

Times Select

Already registered on TimesLIVE, BusinessLIVE or SowetanLIVE? Sign in with the same details.

Questions or problems?
Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.

Previous Article

Now they’re Cookin’: Apple targets Netflix universe as iPhone fades

By James Titcomb, Matthew Field and Ellie Zolfagharifard
3 min read