ElIF: Why does the floating arm trick work?


ELIF: Why does the floating arm trick work? The one where you press the back of your hands to a doorframe for thirty seconds and it makes you involuntarily move your arms up after you stop? I read and article but I didn’t get what they were talking about at all.

In: Biology

The Kohnstamm phenomena is still somewhere with research being done. So short of someone who is studying it coming along, you won’t get a very solid answer.

Basically though, our mind can control our body with directed thought. But this takes up our precious attention span. So, anything which we continue to do for a sufficient period of time becomes embedded in our nervous system as a continuing order. This is meant to accommodate a physical motion which is needed for any reason while freeing up cognitive faculties.

Your nerves see how long you we’re giving active orders to your muscles to contract, decide “this guy is going to keep doing this, better automate” and starts to generate the contraction command without direct intent.

When you give ONE mental command to stop, that doesn’t convince your automation system that you are done contracting. So it keeps that automated signal running. It is only when you force your arms to stay down that the brain goes in to shut off the automation instead of just moving the arms.