Manual If They Ask for a Hand, Only Give Them a Finger

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The fingers may be represented in a somatotopic skin space, while hands are represented in external space. Moreover, they concluded that identifying a finger does not necessarily imply that the hand to which it belongs is also known. In another study of tactile finger representations, Craig asked subjects to judge the order of presentation of two moving stimuli.

These stimuli were moving from one side of the finger pad to the other. He found that the direction of motion of the tactile stimulation influenced the temporal order judgement. When the direction of the movement of the first stimulus was towards the second stimulus, temporal order judgements were more accurate than when it was away from the second stimulus. He found this effect when the fingers were parallel to each other. When he increased the angle between the fingers, the difference in performance decreased. The spatial locations and orientation of the fingers were apparently influencing the performance on this temporal order judgement task, implying that, in contrast to what Haggard et al.

Other evidence of finger posture influencing tactile processing comes from a study by some of the current authors Overvliet et al. In their study, participants had to detect the absence of a line segment under one of their fingertips when their fingers were in different configurations: all fingertips positioned on a single straight line which had a gap just beneath one of the fingertips, or the fingers in a relaxed posture with separate line segments under all but one fingertip. In the condition in which the fingertips were on a straight line, detection of the gap was much faster than when the fingers were in a relaxed posture with separate line segments.

Apparently, the configuration of the fingers influenced detection because the tactile input on the fingertips was identical in both conditions. It was concluded that the integration of the perceived line segments into an object was the critical component for observing the faster gap detection times.

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The proprioceptive information about the location of the fingers was probably essential for integrating the perceived line segments into a single percept when the fingertips were aligned and close together. Though our fingers are very sensitive to tactile information Weinstein , the way how we determine the location of tactile stimuli on our fingers remains largely unknown. An extensive investigation into how accurate we are in localizing near-threshold tactile stimulation von Frey hair applications of the fingers by Schweizer et al.

Nearby stimulation points were selected even more frequently than expected on the basis of chance when they belonged to a neighbouring finger. Schweizer et al. The idea of digit-overlapping receptive fields in the somatosensory cortex is far from new Iwamura et al.

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If these overlapping receptive fields are linked to skin locations, proximity of two adjacent fingers would not change the distribution of errors. Since we observed that the relative positions of the hands and fingers are relevant when processing tactile information, the somatotopical receptive fields might not overlap in terms of skin location but in terms of an external coordinate system. If this is the case, enlarging the distance between the fingers should improve localization.

In particular, spreading the fingers should decrease the tendency to choose the adjacent position on the neighbouring finger, because the distance is increased. To test this hypothesis, we used a variation on the paradigm used by Schweizer et al. We studied the errors that participants made when localizing a near-threshold stimulus presented to one of thirty locations at the fingertips.

We used three different finger configurations: fingers together, fingers spread and fingers interwoven. However, if they are represented spatially, the errors will be distributed differently for each finger configuration. Ten participants, two men and eight women, with an average age of The participants were undergraduate students and co-workers.

None of the participants had known problems with tactile perception due to, for example, numbness, callus or scar tissue on any of their fingers. We did not consider handedness to be an important factor in the current study. All participants signed an informed consent form before participating in the experiment.

The study was part of a programme that has been approved by the ethical committee of the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences of the VU University. We used a point localization test. The stimulus that was used was a von Frey hair of 0. Three finger configurations were used: fingers stretched out and together so that they are touching each other, fingers stretched out and spread apart maximally and fingers stretched out with the two hands on top of each other so that the fingers are interwoven Fig. We measured the size of the fingertip by pressing it onto a ruler.

We took the width of the fingertip at the location of the bump in the centre of each finger pad. We then marked 3 evenly distributed and aligned dots at that location on each finger pad of both hands of the participant, at 0. Thus, the distances between the dots depended on finger width and were not absolutely spaced. A screen with a curtain covering the opening through which the participant extended his or her arms prevented the participant from seeing the hands.

A map of the two hands with the numbered positions Fig. We kept this response map the same in all three experimental conditions; this might cause an overall increase in response time in the interwoven condition if a spatial reference frame is used , but it should not affect error rates. The different finger configurations used in experiment 1: a fingers together, b fingers spread and c fingers interwoven. The three finger configurations were measured in different blocks, randomized in order across participants.

Within a block, the trials were presented in a random order.

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After the experimental procedure was explained to the participant and the informed consent form was signed, participants were seated behind the screen. They were asked to stretch out their arms through the opening in the screen and place their hands with their palms up on a pillow, assuming one of the three finger configurations Fig. A warning signal indicated that the stimulus was going to be applied, after which the stimulus was applied at one of the thirty marked locations. The location was tactually stimulated with the von Frey hair applying just enough force for the hair to start bending which indicates that the maximum application force of the von Frey hair is reached.

The von Frey hair application was done manually. The stimulus was applied once, continuously for one second. It sometimes happened that the von Frey hair slipped off of the desired location.

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If it did so, the trial was repeated at the end of the block of trials. They were allowed to take as much time as necessary. The participant had to name a location, even if they had not felt the stimulus. The experimenter entered the named location in the computer, and the next trial was started. Overall task performance per condition was calculated by determining the proportion of correct responses for each participant. The average values were 0. In their study, the positions of the fingers with respect to each other were not experimentally controlled.

Thus, increasing inter-finger distance indeed led to a more accurate localization of tactile stimuli. In the last paragraph of the introduction, we hypothesized that if the fingers are represented spatially, the error rates will be distributed differently for each finger configuration. We defined a shift to the neighbouring fingertip in spatial terms, which is to a fingertip of the other hand in the interwoven condition below we will examine these data in somatotopic terms; Fig.

The proportions of responses are plotted in Fig. Because we considered all possible answers correct and errors , these values add up to 1 for each finger configuration. Values and correction factors that were used for the filled and open bars of Fig. Proportion of responses in experiment 1 averaged over all participants with standard errors. Inset the critical values of the normalized responses, enlarged for clarity. The positions on the other hand are calculated as if the same finger of that hand was stimulated e.

An error of distance 1 on the other hand would be to the index or ring finger of the other hand. In order to check whether the adjacent position on the neighbouring fingertip is chosen exceptionally often, we normalized all the frequencies of responses. We did this by taking the number of possibilities to make such a response into account.

Moreover, we also normalized for the number of trials in which certain kinds of dots were stimulated. For responses on the same fingertip, when the middle dot was stimulated, we divided the proportion of responses by two, because there are two possible responses that fall within this category indicating the position to the left or right of the dot in question.

However, the middle dot was only stimulated in one third of the trials, so we multiply the proportion of responses by 3. The resulting correction factor with respect to correct responses for which there was exactly one possibility on each trial was therefore 1. We corrected every distance category according to the same principle.

The corrected values are shown in Fig. The probability of choosing the neighbouring dot on the next fingertip was not clearly higher than that of choosing any other dot on another fingertip in any condition. When one of the side dots was stimulated, the probability of choosing a neighbouring dot within the same fingertip was much higher than choosing the neighbouring dot on the neighbouring fingertip same finger—side dot vs. We found a main effect of finger configuration F 2.

Although fewer errors were made whereby a position at a 1-dot distance on the adjacent fingertip was chosen in the fingers spread condition, this does not really support the idea that spreading the fingers reduces the error rate by increasing the distances between the potential stimulation points, because the value for the 1-dot difference is exceptionally low.

If it were just a matter of distance, then the value would decrease to that of the 2-dot or larger differences, but, in fact, it appears to be even smaller than those. Since this was not significant neither the interaction nor the distance category , the lower error rate in this particular case is considered to be a coincidence. Thus, the main and consistent difference between the conditions is a lower overall error rate in the fingers spread condition. To test the hypothesis of Haggard et al. We plotted the somatotopic distance of the response from the target finger in terms of the number of fingers rather than positions on the fingers Fig.

The distance from the stimulated fingertip to a selected fingertip within the target hand is shown in the upper panel, and the distance from the corresponding fingertip of the other hand is shown in the lower panel. To obtain a comparable measure for all distances despite the different number of possibilities, we normalized the responses: the bars shown in Fig. To test whether the normalized responses were evenly distributed across the fingertips, we performed a 2-factor repeated-measures ANOVA on the number of incorrect responses 9 distances, excluding distance 0 on the same hand, which are correct responses; 3 finger configurations.

We found a main effect for configuration F 2. We performed post hoc paired-samples t tests Bonferroni-corrected to investigate the causes of the main effects and interaction.

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Taken together, except for the effects of hand configuration, no clear pattern of results arises from these post hoc tests. Folktales of its origins abound, the most popular being that when the English bested the French in The Hundred Years War with their fancy high-tech longbows, the V hand shape of the archers lining up their arrows became a battle gesture. They form a gestural minimal pair, in that they only differ with regard to one feature.

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The hand-shape and vertical orientation are the same, but the orientation of the palm is different. In the same way that the innocuous word fug differs from the nocuous fuck by only one pronunciation feature; just a small change turns a gesture from benign to offensive. The Peace Sign has its own history.

There are images of people across Allied territory making the gesture with the palm either inwards or outward, although outward became the more common orientation. In an interesting twist of semantic fate, the gesture was co-opted by the peace movement and given a meaning make-over. He embraced the Victory gesture, and is seen with his fingers aloft in many images of the time. In quite a few of those images though his palm is facing inwards instead of outwards:. Image on the left from WikiMedia , on the right from V for Victory. Some argue that his aristocratic background meant that he was unaware of the primary meaning of the palm-inward version in Britain and was innocently performing it like many other Europeans.

The more likely explanation is that Churchill was all too aware of the meaning of this gesture. If this is true, Churchill cheekily exploited the gesture to signal to the Allies that the British were against the Germans, while also garnering support at home.

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The ambiguity allowed Churchill to insult the enemy without the enemy even being aware of it. I leave you with two images. The first is of Justin Bieber, who is frequently photographed performing this gesture with apparently no understanding of its meaning for his BritBeliebers.

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The second is of George Bush Senior. When George Bush Sr. Bush Sr. Unfortunately he presented with the palm facing inwards and probably did a lot more damage than if he just left his hand inside the vehicle. The Biebs via PopSugar. George Bush Sr.

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Like Liked by 1 person. I have mostly given them names based on my Australian English speaker intuitions. Like Like. I work at a school with international students. If I have to take a photo of Asian students, especially girls, they will invariably flash the V. If anyone has some photos to the contrary it would be most amusing. Also, this gesture is ubiquitous among the Japanese in group photos. I am horrible. Now, i know a new gesture to use, when i want to get a certain message across that no one wil understand, i like that.

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Image: D. Ah, friends. They're like family but cooler. Fully customizable. Fall and one of them will be right there to pick you back up. But as great as friends can be, they also do a lot of really stupid stuff. Stuff that blows your mind. Like, sometimes it seems crazy that you even hang out with people who make such crappy decisions. Stuff that, were it to get out, would be mortifying for anyone with even a shred of self-respect.