Long ago the hands were discovered as a diagnostic tool, and therefore it is not surprizing that many great philosophers have described the significance of hands! Today hands can be used as a diagnostic instrument in order to recognize various medical & psychiatric disorders, such as: schizophrenia, diabetes mellitus, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, Marfan syndrome, fragile-x syndrome & Down syndrome. How come?

A few quotes from respected philosophers describing the philosophical importance of hands:

Aristotle (384BC - 322BC)

Aristotle, the Greek philosopher said about the hand:

“… (the hand) is the organ of the organs, the active agent of the passive powers”

Sir Charles Bell (1774-1842).

Sir Charles Bell, the Scottish surgeon said:

“The hand is essentially the organ of the mind, the medium of its expression, and the Instrument whereby its promptings are carried into execution”

Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961).

Carl Gust Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist said:

“Chirology [hand reading] is an art which dates back to very ancient times. The ancient physician never hesitated to make use of such
auxiliary systems as chiromancy and astrology for diagnostic and prognostic purposes as is shown, for instance, by the book of Dr. Goclenius who lived at the end of the sixteenth century. … The totality-conception of modern biology which is based on the evidence of a host of observations and research does not exclude the possibility that hands, whose shape and functioning are so intimately connected with the psyche, might provide revealing and therefore, interpretable expressions of psychical peculiarity, that is, of the human character. …”

Today, the hand can be used to study the significance of hand signs in the perspective of quite a few syndromes, diseases, and psychiatric disorders. You can check out many more details about dozens of hand signs via the sources below:

34 Hand signs in Diabetes Mellitus (type 1 & 2)

29 Hand signs in Down syndrome (trisomy 21)

30 Hands signs in Fragile-X syndrome

5 Hand signs in Marfan syndrome

24 Hand signs in Psoriasis

28 Hand signs in Rheumatoid Arthritis

37 Hand signs in Schizophrenia 

Just another concept of how various types IQ could relate to the fingers...?

The previous post introduced Dermatoglyphics Multiple Intelligence Test (DMIT) – which e.g. describes how various aspects of intelligence could relate to the 10 individual fingers & the brain lobes. Unfortunately there appears to be no (academic) scientific evidence available which confirms the validity of the DMIT-model. But there appears to be multiple evidence available which does confirm that various hand features do provide clues to the general intelligence – specified to the intelligence quotient (IQ)!

In the next 3 posts a quick introduction to how various hand dimensions correlate with IQ, starting with: hand shape.

 • HAND SHAPE & IQ:

The two most common causes of a mental retardation (Down syndrome + fragile X-sydrome) are typically featured with relatively broad palm. This typically results in a high ‘hand index': > 47. 

NOTICE: The ‘hand index’ is defined as: 100 x the quotient of the palm width and the hand length. A ‘hand index’ of 0.47 or higher could be described as high, because far most international ‘hand index’ studies so far indicate that the average varies from 42 to 0.46 (Japanese males: 43.1, American males: 46; Japanese females: 42.3, American females: 43.7). 

So, one could expect that a low ‘hand index’ could provide a clue to a high IQ. But one should be very aware of the fact that the ‘hand index’ varies among men (higher) and women (lower), and among ethnic populations (lower in asians, higher in caucasians).

Interestingly… a 1980 Zagreb study on a large sample of males (N=540) has pointed out that ‘hand width’ does correlate negative with IQ (confirmed at all 10 IQ measures involved in the study). The study also reported that ‘hand length’ did not correlate with IQ – some of the dimensions produced very small positive correlations, which raises the question whether ‘hand index’ would have produced more signficant results than ‘hand width’.

NOTICE: The 1980 study also reveal that all 10 IQ measures produced positive correlations which ‘body height’ – a result which has been confirmed by many studies.

The picture below demonstrates how to measure ‘hand width': in scientific studies this is always done at the position of the metacarpals (0ne could use the starting point of the life line as an easy identifyable point of reference).

And hand length is measure from the distal wrist crease to the tip of the middle finger. 

9 LINES & 9 DISORDERS:
CAN YOU FIND THE CONNECTIONS?

Just to avoid misunderstandings, I will briefly describe each of the hand lines in the picture above:

Line 1 = extra crease on the 1st phalange (beyond the distal interphalangeal crease)
Line 2 = extra crease on the 2nd phalange (in 1 or more fingers)
Line 3 = single crease on the pinky finger
Line 4 = extra crease on the thumb
Line 5 = ‘hockey-stick crease’
Line 6 = simian crease
Line 7 = Sydney crease
Line 8 = transverse hypothenar crease
Line 9 = secondary creases: unusually high density

The names of the 9 disorders are:

A = Alagille syndrome (= genetic disorder related to e.g. the liver, heart & kidney)
B = Coffin-Lowry syndrome (= genetic disorder: e.g. mental problems, health)
C = Down’s syndrome (= genetic disorder: trisomy 21, e.g. mental handicap, health)
F = Edward’s syndrome (= genetic disorder: trisomy 18, e.g. low rate of survival)
D = Fetal alcohol syndrome (= caused by alcohol abuse during pregnancy)
E = Fragile X syndrome (= genetic disorder: Xq27, e.g. mental handicap, autism)
G = Pit-Rogers-Dank syndrome (= e.g. growth disorder, mental retardation)
H = Schizophrenia (= psychiatric disorder)
I = Sickle Cell Diseases (= blood disorder)

The QUIZ-task is very simple:
‘Which line (in the picture above) belongs to which disorder?’

(You can submit your answers as a response to this blog post, but you can also discuss the details at the Modern Hand Reading Forum, at:     The ‘Weird-Hand-Lines QUIZ’ – part 2)

Some ‘clues’ for finding the right connections are provided by MEDICAL HAND ANALYSIS.

27 Characteristics of the hand in Fragile X syndrome (Xq27).

Phantom picture of the hand in Fragile X syndrome!

In 1986 A. Rodewald et al. presented the first ‘phantom picture’ describing the typical hand characteristics in Fragile X syndrome (e.g. hand calluses & flexible finger phalange joints). But more detailed ‘phantom pictures’ were never presented since then. This month (february 2010) a more detailed updated version of the visualisation became available – featuring 28 characteristics of the hand in Fragile’s syndrome!

What are the most common hand characteristics in Fragile X syndrome?

HAND LINES:
A common characteristic is the presence of the famous ‘simian line‘; an alternative is the presence of a Sydney line.

DERMATOGLYPHICS:
Here one should especially notice the fingerprints of the 3rd finger (and the 2nd + 4th finger); often these demonstrate the presence of ‘radial loop’ patterns and/or arch patterns (the normal ‘ulnar loop’ patterns are less common in Fragile X syndrome) – combined with a ‘transverse’ pattern in the palmar ridge lines in the distal palmar zone.

HAND SHAPE:
The palm width (hand breadth) is relatively broad, and the palm length is usually a bit short. Finger length is relatively long compared to the palm length, but slightly short compared to the palm breadth.

NOTICE: The author of the new ‘phantom picture’ for Fragilex syndrome described a specific guideline which states that in most cases of Fragile X syndrome certain combinations of the 28 characteristics are found in both the fingers AND the palm of the hand!

More details available at:
How to use the famous ‘simian crease’ as a marker in Fragile X syndrome!

Photo: example of a baby hand with hyperextensible finger joints – a common feature in Fragile X syndrome.
Example of a baby hand with hyperextensible finger joints - a common feature in Fragile X syndrome.