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How smart is your right foot?

Paul Ingraham ARCHIVEDMicroblog posts are archived and rarely updated. In contrast, most long-form articles on are updated regularly over the years (see updates page).

Here’s an interesting coordination phenomenon. A very light item, this — something whimsical about feet for me to add to my plantar fasciitis book. It’s the season for whimsy.

Warning: you may keep trying over and over again to see if you can outsmart your foot. You probably can't. This phenomenon is pretty hard-wired into your nervous system.

  1. Lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.
  2. Now, while doing this, draw the number '6' in the air with your right hand. Your foot will change direction.

And there ain’t nothing you can do about it! Naturally it works with any counter-clockwise motion of the hand — “6” is just handy way of describing that.

 End of post. 
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