Curved sixth fingers: Flexible representation of the shape of supernumerary body parts

Denise Cadete*, Adrian J.T. Alsmith, Matthew R. Longo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


A recent perceptual illusion induces the feeling of having a sixth finger on one's hand. It is unclear whether the representation of supernumerary fingers is flexible for shape. To test whether we can embody a sixth finger with a different shape from our own fingers, we induced a sixth finger which curved laterally though 180°. Participants reported feeling both curved and straight sixth fingers, depending on the stimulation pattern. Visual comparative judgements of the felt curvature of the supernumerary finger, showed means of 182° in the curved condition, and 35° in the straight condition. Our results show we can feel a supernumerary finger with different shape from our actual fingers, indicating that shape is represented flexibly in the perception of our hands. This study also adds evidence to the independence of the supernumerary finger from the actual fingers, showing we can represent the sixth finger with its own shape.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103413
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Early online date15 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • Body representation
  • Embodiment
  • Multisensory illusion
  • Supernumerary body parts


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