What causes "butter fingers"?

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Paul Anderson

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What causes "butter fingers"?
« on: 07/02/2009 12:30:03 »
Paul Anderson  asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi Chris and team,

With folk who are uncoordinated, where is the problem?

Take a simple example of catching a tennis ball. I see the ball coming towards me and presumably I send a message to both hands to move them up to meet the ball, but I must be doing some calculations subconsciously to ensure the speed at which my hands come up coincide with the speed of the approaching ball. I also have to ensure that I open my hands with my palms towards the ball and cupped.

I also need to think that it is better to catch it to the side so that if I don't catch it, it doesn't hit me in the head. This also means I have to move the rest of my body to be in the best position to catch the ball. The more I think about it, the more complicated the exercise is becoming.

With uncoordinated folk, does their brain just not process all the material fast enough, or is there a blockage of messages reaching the various parts of the body, or what? Is there a lack of certain chemicals in their body which do not facilitate rapid movement of messages?


What do you think?


Offline RD

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What causes
« Reply #1 on: 07/02/2009 12:41:06 »
Dyspraxia ?

What is it?
Dyspraxia can affect any or all areas of development - intellectual, emotional, physical, language, social and sensory - and may impair a personís normal process of learning. Usually, it's said to be an impairment or immaturity of the organisation of movement, but associated with this may be problems of language, perception and thought.

Problems arise in the process of forming ideas, motor planning and execution, since people with dyspraxia have poor understanding of the messages their senses convey and difficulty relating those messages to actions.

This means physical activities are hard to learn, difficult to retain, and hesitant and awkward in performance.

Dyspraxia affects each person in different ways and at different stages of development. How an individual is affected is inconsistent, too. For example, one day they may be able to perform a specific task, the next day they can't.
« Last Edit: 07/02/2009 12:44:44 by RD »


Offline Chemistry4me

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What causes
« Reply #2 on: 08/02/2009 05:30:01 »
Or are they just nervous and scared of the ball? [:)]


Offline Karen W.

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What causes \
« Reply #3 on: 08/02/2009 08:50:39 »
 This is something...I have dealt with in my life...I have had more trouble in the speech department..had dificulties getting out the right sounds do to the fact that I struggled with getting my tongue to be where it ws supposed to b for certain sounds..it is still something I have t be very concious of.... I spent about ten years working with speech therapist ... and a bit with physical therapist as a kid..
 Understanding certain things at times was and still is difficult... certain  fine motor skilled things would be more difficult...but for the most part mostly..I get by just fine..as long as I remain conscious of what I am doing......
 As a child I was really frustrated.... Someimes still after having to read something several times and feeling like I can't grasp it..makes me mad... but to walk away and come back..I can read it again.. and Its fine..I have it....feels like the process of comprehension is way slow!

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."


Offline JnA

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What causes
« Reply #4 on: 08/02/2009 14:03:56 »
They say when you are searching for an answer that is 'on the tip of your tongue' you need to forget about the question and distract yourself. You should not keep trying to remember the answer since you will lay down incorrect neural pathways and keep reinforcing them by trying to force the memory..

I wonder if general "butterfingerness"  stems from an incorrect neural pathway that was reinforced... it seems that, with some concentrated effort  co-ordination can be built (or rebuilt) ...