Evidence from the Medical Literature; the Pruszynski publication *citation below
Pruszynski’s study concerning what is called tactile edge orientation sheds light on why the Real Feel Gloves make a difference.
The key medical word is proprioception. Proprioception is the human body’s ability to know intuitively where it is in space. Based upon this innate factor in the body, it is possible for a person to grasp their hands together behind their back with surprising accuracy. A person can close their eyes and touch index fingers together from both hands. Furthermore, proprioception is essential to athletic performance.
The traditional thought was that the nerve endings in and around the tendons and the joints signaled to the nervous system any given position of the body or the extremity.
We now know that the skin plays and important role in proprioception and hence athletic performance.
Pruszynski’s study provided a significant advance because it show that imprints on the skin also provides spatial relationship information. The physical impression on the skin of handheld objects will affect the human body’s innate recognition of its position in space. The skin impression on one part of the body has potential to influence body part position in space remote from the skin contact area. The skin impression will guide musculoskeletal actions on other limbs.
Pruszynski’s publication amazingly showed that movement of the skin on the one hand, could signal to the subject intuitively how and where to place the opposite hand to touch a remote object; in this case a ball on the end of a stick.
His study shows the potential effect on coordination that comes from the neurosensory input from the skin’s neurons.
“Whether you know it or not, you have skin in the game.”
This illustration was taken from the Pruszynski’s publication*. It shows that the elevated part [Edge] is attached to the rod with the ball on the end. The subject is shown the set up and the position and length of the rod. They see the ball on the end. The test is performed with the subject’s eyes closed. The left thumb is placed on the Edge which is attached to the rod. The rod is moved right or left. While blindfolded the subject is asked to reach out and grasp the ball with the opposite hand. The results were amazing in that the subject had the ability to know if the rod was moved right or left. In addition, the subject was easily able to grasp the ball with the opposite hand.
* Pruszynski JA, Johansson RS, Flanagan JR. A Rapid Tactile-Motor Reflex Automatically Guides Reaching toward Handheld Objects. Volume 26, Issue 6, 21 March 2016, Pages 788-792