Fingertips can actually perform calculations

Fingertips can perform calculations (Credit: K.Muncie/Flickr)
Fingertips can perform calculations (Credit: K.Muncie/Flickr)

Main Point:

Nerve endings on our fingertips have the same ability of performing complex neural computations as we can find in our brain.

Published in:

Nature Nanotechnology

Study Further:

Researchers have found that our fingertips are able to differentiate the edges and this process of getting knowledge of orientation of edges is performed by both touch and visual senses. Most of these senses and computations occur in the brain as it contains cells of both touch and see that are sensitive to orientation of edges. These cells take information to the nearby cells to encode further features.

Fingertips are among the most sensitive parts of the body having thousands of nerve endings. These nerve endings have complex patterns of nerve impulses that can take information about the size, shape and texture of objects, and give the ability to recognize objects by touch. In short, you can say that our fingertips have the ability to perform geometrical calculations. Researchers have suggested that there could be chances of better calculations by other parts of the fingers and bodies.

Researchers have reported that in future, if we want the growth of neurons of certain parts of the body, we have to consider their abilities not only their types.


Pruszynski, J., & Johansson, R. (2014). Edge-orientation processing in first-order tactile neurons Nature Neuroscience DOI: 10.1038/nn.3804

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