Six-finger illusion

May 18, 2016 | 08:55
How would it be to have six fingers instead of five? (c) Inria / Photo J.C. Moschetti
How would it be to have six fingers instead of five? (c) Inria / Photo J.C. Moschetti
Always wondered how it would be to have six fingers per hand instead of five? A team of scientists at the research center INRIA in Rennes, France, have made it possible to live this experience with the help of virtual reality. The subject equipped with virtual reality glasses sees his hand as if it had six fingers instead of five.

The object of the experiment was to find out how the subject would handle the sudden appearance of an extra finger. The main goal of the study is to get a better understanding of how people behave and react with a virtual body or avatar. Previous studies have shown that people respond differently to questions when their avatar is male or female.

The acceptance of the sixth finger - placed between the ring finger and the little finger - turned out to be surprisingly good with 95% of the subjects trying to move the virtual finger when asked to do so. Most of them actually moved the ring finger. Questioned about the new finger most subjects felt they could really control it.
 


One question remains: on a six-finger hand, which finger is the middle?
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