I have always marveled at the complexity of the sensorimotor programming of the hands. From an evolutionary standpoint, we developed the ability to oppose, circumduct, flex, extend, and abduct the thumb. This allowed us to effectively grasp objects and tools. Our remaining fingers have a complex network of both intrinsic and extrinsic muscles that provide both stability and the ability to coordinate individualized, and as you will hear, extremely complex movements.
These features, in conjunction with the largest higher brain capacity in the animal kingdom, make us unique.
The following piece of music was performed by a physical therapist and professional level cellist named Paul Groschel (). This is a great example of how motor learning and complex digit movements can produce something amazing.
In the words of Paul, “Sit back, turn the lights down, and have a listen.” (This piece of music is Beethoven’s 5th Sonata).
Image credit: Top © Angelika Smile/Fotolia.