Why do my arms have minds of their own?

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Ian McKay

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Why do my arms have minds of their own?
« on: 22/04/2009 14:30:03 »
Ian McKay  asked the Naked Scientists:

I'm a Canadian from Toronto, currently at graduate school at Cornell
University in Ithaca, NY, USA. I have a question about something that happens to me fairly frequently, and I'm wondering a) why it happens, and b) if it is common. Love the podcast!

When I'm multitasking with my arms I sometimes forget (or something?) that one of my arms is partially raised, and it just stays up until I realize that it's up (and feel a bit foolish!) and let it rest back at my side.

Here's an example: when I'm making a cup of coffee, I'll pick up the milk in one hand, and a stir stick in the other, pour the milk, and when it's done pouring, stir. But often when I'm done stirring, I'll realize that the hand with the milk is still holding the milk up in the air, exactly where I had left it when I switched my focus to the stirring task. Sometimes (in relevantly-similar situations) I won't have anything in the
hand that is in the air. But in the same way, it will be partially raised, where I left it when I had finished whatever I was doing with that hand.
But I play the guitar, and some piano, and don't have trouble with
hand/finger independence when I'm playing them.


Thanks, and keep up the fantastic work!

Ian McKay

What do you think?


Offline Karen W.

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Why do my arms have minds of their own?
« Reply #1 on: 23/04/2009 01:06:38 »
That is very interesing..I really can''t imagine that as its nothing I have ever experienced...I do no what your saying but it is interesting that it doesn't happen with the lower smaller motor skill guitar...

Does it only happen when doing something with larger motor skill movement?

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