Babies born with extra digits are not that rare, and those with 6 fingers on one hand are able to play a complicated video game with a single hand. What’s more, their brains have no trouble controlling the more complex movements of their extra digits.

A sixth finger can prove extra handy

An extra finger can be incredibly handy. Two people born with six fingers per hand can tie their shoes, deftly manage phones and play a complicated video game — all with a single hand. What’s more, their brains had no trouble controlling the more complex movements of their extra digits, a new study finds.

Extra fingers are not that rare. About one or two in every 1,000 babies are born with extra digits. If the extras are just small nubs, they may be surgically removed at birth. But some extra fingers can prove helpful, the new study shows.

Its results also highlight how flexible the human brain can be. That info can guide people who design brain-controlled robotic appendages.

Etienne Burdet is one of those people. He’s a bioengi… Continue Reading (3 minute read)

10 thoughts on “Babies born with extra digits are not that rare, and those with 6 fingers on one hand are able to play a complicated video game with a single hand. What’s more, their brains have no trouble controlling the more complex movements of their extra digits.”

  1. ledfrisby

    Wow, that’s impressive – babies playing complicated video games.

  2. themillwater

    And they have a hell of a time finding gloves

  3. Nail_Biterr

    They basically get to cheat in math in Kindergarten too. Everyone else can only go to 10. These lucky bastards go up to 12.

    Also didn’t Hannibal have 6 fingers in the books (except in the prequel, Hannibal Rising, where the author apparently forgot who he was writing about)

  4. Owerzym

    I’d guess that they don’t have problem of handling a sixth finger on a hand because they get used of moving all 6 of them during their childhood ?

  5. Puppywanton

    I’m getting flashbacks to the Gattaca pianist scene.

  6. In5an1ty

    Noob question, if both parents have 6 functional fingers per hand, can the trait be passed down to advance the species?

  7. inhumancannonball

    Define not that rare

  8. JCH32

    Hi, hand surgeon here: most of the time that extra digit is not particularly functional. Either it’s attached by a soft tissue bridge which is just a nerve and vessel, and it’s functionally a skin tag, or it’s some varying degree of attached to its neighboring digit with similarly varying degrees of tendinous structures that actually go to the extra digit to allow it to move. If left alone, yes most of these children will use the normal thumb/index/long/ring/small fingers normally, but they generally will not use the extra digit for much at all. The extra digit may also result in angular deformity of the neighboring normal digit with time and then the normal digit may become less functional. So no it’s not like these kids are the next super Mozart because they were born with an extra finger.

  9. SwingAndDig

    My name is Inigo Montoya.

    You killed my father.

    Prepare to die.

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