A little finger wagging goes a long way in neuroscience. It has led Franz Mechsner and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute of Psychological Research, Munich, Germany, to conclude that it is the sight, not the feel, of our fingers moving that makes wagging with mirror symmetry more stable than wagging in parallel (Nature, Vol. 414, No. 6859, pp. 69-73, 01 Nov 2001). Previously it was thought that this phenomenon arose because moving matching muscles is easier.
Mechsner's team had volunteers move their forefingers from side to side to a beat with both palms down or with one up and one down. In another experiment volunteers tapped two fingers (like playing the piano). In a third they moved both hands in circles. Contrary to prevailing wisdom, they find that "the symmetry tendency in bimanual movements is independent of muscular and motor constraint and is thus purely perceptual in nature".
"It may be this kind of movement organization that makes the richness and complexity of human voluntary movements possible, be it in sports and dance, skilful tool use, or language," they conclude in this week’s Nature.
tel +49 89 38 602 250
(C)Nature press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza
Bookmark and Share this page (what is this?)
Social bookmarking allows users to save and categorise a personal collection of bookmarks and share them with others. This is different to using your own browser bookmarks which are available using the menus within your web browser.
Use the links below to share this article on the social bookmarking site of your choice.
Read more about social bookmarking at Wikipedia - Social Bookmarking
Variants Associated with Pediatric Allergic Disorder
Mutations in PHF6 Found in T-Cell Leukemia
Genetic Risk Variant for Urinary Bladder Cancer
Antibody Has Therapeutic Effect on Mice with ALS
Regulating P53 Activity in Cancer Cells
Anti-RNA Therapy Counters Breast Cancer Spread
Mitochondrial DNA Diversity
The Power of RNA Sequencing
‘Pro-Ageing' Therapy for Cancer?
Niche Genetics Influence Leukaemia
Molecular Biology: Clinical Promise for RNA Interference
Chemoprevention Cocktail for Colon Cancer
more news ...