Why your brain makes you fingers wrinkle

Welcome fellow sciencers! It is I, Aaron
Freeman one of the Chicago Brain Buddies and I am joined as ever by my
ace droogie Peggy Mason, hello professor Peggy Mason professor of
Neurobiology- ain’t quite your ace what Droogie?
Droog is the Russian word for friend and droogie was the term used in by Alex
in a “Clockwork Orange” to describe his friends droogie. so hey droogie.
All the Russians got that immediately. Speaking of
Russians my health club is filled with Russians. How I know most of the Russian
that I know is because of my health club and six days a week at my health club
I spend taking water aerobics. Six days a week? I’m there doing
water aerobics and it will come as a shock to no one that at the end of you
know an hour forty minutes fifty minute workout my little fingers are all
raisiny and weird. But I know why! Why? It’s osmosis! Because just like a
sponge, water gets absorbed by the outer layer of the skin like a sponge it puffs
up but some of the tissues that connect the outer layer of the skin to the
muscle don’t get filled with water. the puffy parts raisin out, like a sponge!
Great idea. Thank you very much. you know it should be right it should be right
thank you very much you know how I should be right but it’s
not. Let’s say you did an experiment you cut a nerve going out your hand that
hand wouldn’t get quickly it is you that is making the crinkle Enis it’s your
nervous system clearly the water has something to do with it because we have
to sense where in water you have to in water for a certain amount of time but
the thing that actually makes the creepiness is your sympathetic nervous
system why would we bother to do this and why would evolution say yes let’s
select for this let’s have crinkly fingered
animals because maybe because we are we are land-based animals and animals have
spent too much time in the water should look bad so that land-based animals
wouldn’t want to hang out with them right right if I expected to be right I
wouldn’t be talking to you I think I talk to you for humility I thought is
that we get crinkly in water so that we can hold on to things in water it gives
us better grip so as it turns out if you take out a wet object and you try to
hold it with your regular fingertips you will have a more difficult time and if
you try to hold it with your creepley fingertips there was actually an
experiment on the precise question exactly so your ability to grip wet
objects is better with the little ridges that you get in water it’s increasing
the surface area of the finger I think it’s increasing that the attention that
you managed to put onto an object so you and you and the object are gonna stay
together rather than it slip away like treads are the tire right the skin is so
important that your sensory nerves are joining the sympathetic nervous system
to fashion the skin now what he has simple is a sympathetic you mean as
opposed to parasympathetic it’s parasympathetic every system comes out
in the brainstem tell me that comes out of it
I also read that this oldest effect this really only happens on how I wish I
could remember the word glabrous glad this is my favorite newer glabrous skin
what is glabrous skin glabrous skin hairy skin and elaborate Airy here’s the
line it’s basically right here this is that that smooth hairless it’s a
different feel than this we his hair has hairs huh it is a different
it’s it’s a thinner feel to it have your eyes closed put your hand into water
that is the same temperature as your skin do you perceive that you’re in
water do you perceive wet I only know that there was an old college strict
that if somebody is like drunk and lying on like under the couch if you put their
hand in body temperature water it’ll make him pee don’t drive this at home 20
plus years ago I was teaching in the graduate school course on somatic
sensation somatosensation you mean the feelings of the body the some of the
body those feelings of the body which are attached to pain and temperature and
vibration and proprioception okay and I was saying to the to the students that
they are dedicated sensory neurons from each one of these so touch has its own
sensory neurons vibration has a different set of sensory neurons and and
I’m going on and on about this and one of the students and her name was
Christine Scott Chile’s she raises her hand she says well how do you feel
wetness and I what a great question and it was one of my favorite questions and
I went and I and I said I don’t know and then I left class and I went back and I
went down this incredible rabbit hole to find out how you sense wetness what it
turns out is that wetness is a compound sensation so it depends on touch plus
cold so if you don’t have cold you don’t get wet I spend way too much time doing
water aerobics when though there’s a big difference between the air temperature
and the water temperature then I could tell very easily I know exactly where
I’m at if you put a gloved hand into cold water it still feels wet now
if you put a still hand into water that is not different from what your hands at
you don’t you won’t sense Wow and even if you move it around you
really want cents wet unless it’s cold I dry my clothes by I hang them to dry you
live in an apartment in Hyde Park I would have you hang your clothes where
do you hang them I bought at a few secondhand stores the old apartment pull
hangers oh my goodness I know those yeah yeah when they’re dry they’re dry but
they’re cold because I don’t put the heat on my Harmon if I touch them I very
difficult to know if they’re wet or not if I put on a wet set of thumb drunks
all right if they’re wet once my body heats them up it no longer feels wet you
have that cold coat really doesn’t do it with hot if you touch hot liquid you
what you feel is hot you don’t feel wet so here’s an experiment and if there’s
somebody out there listening that wants to dedicate you know an abnormal amount
of time to that you put one finger in cold water okay you put one finger in
water that is the temperature of your finger okay in one case you it feel in
this case in the cold water it feels cold in this case you don’t feel wet I
mean I’m sorry it feels wet in this case you don’t feel any way okay and now you
keep them there without moving or enough time until this one starts to crinkle
okay and prediction would be that if wetness is the stimulus that it takes to
get the crinkly this one shouldn’t crinkle don’t know what that Express
would show so if anyone has the patience knock yourself out and let us know what
happens I love it that seems like an entirely good places that they end up
you’ve got your assignment now you’ve got your assignment
thanks Becky you wish you got a brave buddy I’m personally burning with
curiosity if somebody does it yeah yeah well so we’ll listen and we hope that we
want to thank everybody for watching and listening and we hope you’ll all check
out the Chicago brain buddies podcast on the favorite podcast platform that you
were wanted to listen to see speculations I’m Aaron Freeman and we’re grateful to you Thank You Peggy!

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