The Alien Hand Syndrome.

The Alien Hand Syndrome.

The Alien Hand Syndrome – scary stories about hands & brain damage

The Halloween season is known as THE time for psycho-thriller and horror movies. Maybe, fans of such movies should consider delving into some medical literature to get the best scary stories. The “Alien Hand Syndrome” is always featured with such stories.

People who have the Alien Hand Syndrome have basically no voluntary control over one of their hands.

THE ALIEN HAND SYNDROME & BRAIN DAMAGE

Although this phenomenon is not particularly hazardous to the patients’ health, it does cause a lot mental frustration. Some patients even go as far as associating a different personality, and sometimes even a different name, with the hand: like they are having a bionic hand out of control. The seemingly supernatural disorder is caused by a few broken connections in the brain. Brain damage can be caused by a variety of factors including accidents, strokes, and brain hemorrhages. One of the causes of alien hand syndrome is damage to the corpus callosum of the brain. The corpus callosum connects the two halves of the brain and helps the two halves communicate with one another. Damage to the posterior regions (backside) of the brain show yet another set of symptoms. The alien hands in such cases tend to stray away from anything in the environment and show uncoordinated movements.

As of now, there isn’t any treatment for this disorder, but in many cases, the symptoms seem to diminish if the alien hand is kept occupied with some task. For patients with the obsessive grasping disorder, if the hand is made to hold an object like a cane at all times, it no longer attempts to grasp other objects. However, patients still have to cope with the perpetual loss of one hand as the alien hand cannot be used to perform any meaningful tasks.

In the “Alien Hand Syndrome” is the brain not always in control over the hands:

In the Alien Hand Syndrome is the brain not always in control over the hands.

MORE UNUSUAL HAND STORIES:
The ‘Alien Hand Syndrome’: scary stories about hands & brain damage
The bionic hand
The man who grew a finger
How your finger length relates to your mind!
What does your hand shake say about you?
Find a palmistry exert in your country

Finger length of London stock traders relates to financial success.

The finger length of London stock traders relates to financial success.

Low index finger vs. ring finger ratio relates to financial success

Researchers at the University of Cambridge found that stock traders with a lower digit ratio of 0.93, on average, earned 10 times more than those with an average ratio of 0.988.

Traders with a lower digit ratio made an average of 679,680 pounds (or about $1 million U.S.), compared with 61,320 pounds ($90,956 U.S.) by those with a higher ratio, the report said.

The research, published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), found that individuals who were exposed to high levels of prenatal testosterone tended to be more profitable traders.

The British researchers provide the following explanation for their finger length research results:

Testosterone, a steroid hormone, surges between the 9th and 18th week of gestation, exerting powerful organizing effects on the developing body and brain. According to both animal and human studies, these effects may include increased confidence, risk-preferences and search persistence, as well as heightened vigilance and quickened reaction times.

The amount of testosterone one was exposed to in the womb can be measured because it leaves traces throughout the adult body. Measures of prenatal androgens are increasingly used by paediatricians to gauge whether a newborn has been exposed to abnormal levels of steroid. The most common measure for behavioural studies is the ratio of the index to ring finger (2D:4D) on the right hand, a relatively longer ring finger – lower 2D:4D – indicating higher prenatal testosterone levels. Males typically have ratios below 1, women above 1.

As digit ratios have been found to predict performance in competitive sports such as tennis, football, and skiing, the scientists hypothesised that 2D:4D may also influence the risk preferences and physical speed required for what is variously called noise or high-frequency. Traders engaged in high frequency trading look for fleeting price anomalies and hold their trades for minutes, sometimes mere seconds.

Finger length in London stock traders.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE & RELATED RESEARCH:
Index finger & ring finger length related to financial success!
Lingerie sharpens the financial mind
More finger length & digit ratio research
The finger book

The hand.

Psychology Research

In 1998 neurologist Frank R. Wilson published a book titled: “The hand: how its use shapes the brain, language, and human culture”. The book was written into the premise that the hand is as much at the core of human life as the brain itself.

The human hand appears to be a miracle of biomechanics, one of the most remarkable adaptions in the history of evolution. The hands of a concert pianist can elicit glorious sound and stir emotion; those of a surgeon can perform the most delicate operations; those of a rock climber allow him to scale a vertical mountain wall.

In his book Wilson makes the striking claim that it is because of the unique structure of the hand and its evolution in cooperation with the brain that Homo sapiens became the most intelligent, preeminent animal on the earth. And the thumb – Wilson dedicated a full chapter to what he calls the ‘The Twenty Four Karate Thumb’ – played a major role in the evolution of human kind.

The french sculptor César Baldaccini must have had likewise associations while making his famous sculpture ‘The Thumb’ (Le Pouce) – first presented in 1965 in Paris, today you can see it (in bronze or marble) in museums and public places all over the world – see the pictures below.

César & his 'thumb'.The Thumb.

PSYCHOLOGY RESEARCH & THE HUMAN HAND:

The following research programs focuss on important themes in modern psychology, which are being related to various aspect of the human hand:

  • Hand features related to Autism
  • Hand features related to Neuroticism
  • Left handed & leftward hand asymmetry
  • The top 10 hand gestures you’d better get right