Do some people have more sensitive fingers?

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Paul Anderson

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Do some people have more sensitive fingers?
« on: 05/02/2009 22:30:02 »
Paul Anderson  asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi Chris and Team,

I once tried to learn Braille, but I never seemed to have enough sensitivity in my fingers to determine the patterns. Are there some folk who have more sensitivity in their fingers? I would imagine that a labourer (whose hands might be hard skinned) or mechanic (whose hands are constantly covered in oil and grease) might experience difficulty in learning Braille.


What do you think?


Offline Chemistry4me

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Do some people have more sensitive fingers?
« Reply #1 on: 05/02/2009 22:33:51 »
The sense of touch of blind people is, it turns out, much more acute than yours or mine, whether or not they can read Braille and whether or not they have been blind from birth. When asked to distinguish a ribbed from a smooth surface by scratching it, the unsighted can notice the presence of far finer grooves than the rest of us. Scans show that, for them, part of the brain normally devoted to vision has, in the absence of information from the eyes, been taken over by the fingers: one sense has, in effect, hijacked the machinery of another.