Dermatoglyphics and It's History

Dermatoglyphics (from ancient Greek derma = "skin", glyph = "carving") is the branch of science in the study of the patterns of skin ( dermal), ridges present on the fingers, toes and the souls of human.

All primates have ridged skin. It can also be found on the paws of certain mammals, and on the tails of some monkey species. In humans and animals this is present on fingers, palms, toes and soles. Characteristically, hair does not grow from this area. The ridging formations serve well to enhance contact and aids in the prevention of slippage. People of African ancestry display reduced skin pigmentation in the designated locations. All studies of the dermal ridge arrangements including genetics, anthropology and Egyptology are classified under the term dermatoglyphics.

Though the Study of Finger Print is Centuries Old but this word was coined by Dr. Harold Cummins, the father of Dermatoglyphics. Dr. Harold Cummins first established the direct relationship between the patterns formation and development on the palm and the development of the brain in the year 1926. Cummins methodology was the first technology used to chart out genome and evolutionary relationships. He also published 'Finger Prints, Palms and Soles' in 1943. Ever since Dermatoglyphics has wide usage in diagnosis and behavior analysis of people with schizophrenia, mental retardation, and many such diseases including heart diseases.


Dr. Harold Cummins

Dermatoglyphics integrated analysis of brain science, psychology, medicine, genetics and behavioral science. Based on Dermatoglyphics one's style of learning, thinking, potential abilities can be discovered and focused learning could be established.

Medical experts and scientist thus discovered that the amount of brain cells distributed in different parts of the brain help us understand a person's multiple intelligence as well as his innate potential capabilities and personality. Our finger prints reveal to us what we need and how we learn, transforming our lives through a holistic education approaches. The study has absolute scientific basis, with many years of research. It is analyzed and proven with evidence in anthropology, genetics, medicine and statistics.

History of Dermatoglyphics:

  •   J.C.Mayer was the first to write out basic tenets of fingerprint analysis and theorized that fingerprints were unique.
  •   Dr. Jan Purkinje classified the papillary lines on the fingertips into nine types: arch, tented arch, ulna loop, radial loop, peacock's eye/compound, spiral whorl, elliptical whorl, circular whorl, and double loop/composite.
  •   Joannes Evangelista Purkinji, a professor of anatomy at the University of Breslau found that the patterns on one's finger tips and the ridges and lines on one's prints begin to form at around the thirteenth week in the womb and published his research thesis on fingerprint patterns classification.
  •   Dr. Charles Bell was one of the first physicians to combine the scientific study of neuron-anatomy with clinical practice. He published The Hand: Its Mechanism and Vital Endowments as Evincing Design.
  •   Dr. Francis Galton a British anthropologist and a cousin of Charles Darwin published his book, "Fingerprints", establishing the individuality and permanence of fingerprints. The book included the first classification system for fingerprints: Arch, Loop and Whorl.
  •   Harris Hawthorne Wilder was the first American to study Dermatoglyphics. He invented the Main Line Index, studied the narhypothenar eminencies, zones II, III, IV.
  •   Dr. Harold Cummins & Dr. Charles Midlo studied all aspects of fingerprint analysis, from anthropology to genetics and embryology perspective. They also coined the term "Dermatoglyphics" and showed that the hand contained significant ridges that would assist the identification of mongolism in the new-born child.
  •   Dr. Harold Cummins published a book, "Finger Prints, Palms and Soles", a bible in the field of dermatoglyphics. In this book he mentioned about his research on embryo-genesis of skin ridge patterns in detail.
  •   Dr Julius Spier Psycho-Analytic Chirologist published "The Hands of Children" he made several significant discoveries especially in the area of psycho-sexual development and the diagnosis of imbalances and problems in this area from the patterns of the hands.
  •   Dr.Walker used the dermal configurations in the diagnosis of mongolism.
  •   Sarah Holt, whose own work 'The Genetics of Dermal Ridges' published in 1968, summarizes her research in of dermatoglyphics patterns of both the fingers and the palm in various peoples, both normal and congenitally afflicted.
  •   John J. Mulvihill, MD and David W. Smith, MD published The Genesis of Dermatoglyphics that provides the most up to date version of how fingerprints form.
  •   USSR, Former Soviet Union Used Dermatoglyphics in selecting the contestant for Olympics and won over 50 Gold medals.
  •   Schaumann and Alter's 'Dermatoglyphics in Medical Disorders' was published. Significant investigations have also been carried out into the dermatoglyphics indicators of congenital heart disease, leukaemia, cancer, rubella embryopathy, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia etc. Dermatoglyphics research being directed into genetic research and the diagnosis of chromosomal defects.
  •   China carry out researching work of human potential, intelligence and talents in dermatoglyphics and human genome perspective.
  •   Dr. HOWARD GARDNER developed a theory of Multiple Intelligence Multiple Intelligence. Through this Multiple Intelligence he tried answering not "how SMART an Individual is But rather how is he SMART?"
  •   Dr. Chen Yi MouPhd. of Harvard University research Dermatoglyphics based on Multiple Intelligence theory of Dr. Howard Gardner. First apply dermatoglyphics to educational fields and brain physiology.
  •   Nobel Prize in physiology was awarded to Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini & Dr. Stanley Cohen for discovering the correlation between NGF (Nerve Growth Factor) and EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor).
  •   DrStowens, Chief of Pathology at St Luke's hospital in New York, claims to be able to diagnose schizophrenia and leukaemia with up to 90% accuracy. In Germany, Dr Alexander Rodewald reports he can pinpoint many congenital abnormalities with 90% accuracy.
  •   IBMBS- International Behavioral & Medical Biometrics Society. Over 7000 report and thesis published. Nowadays U.S., Japan, China & Taiwan apply dermatoglyphics to educational fields, expecting to improve teaching qualities and raising learning efficiency by knowing various learning styles.

To summarise we can say that nearly two centuries scientists discovered the relevance of fingerprints and multiple intelligence of human. Later on, numerous scientists and medical experts studied on the Dermatoglyphics by observing, recording, comparing, assembling and eventually organizing all the data in order to obtain an accurate analysis of the hidden talents and strengths of an individual.

Feature of Dermatoglyphics:

  •   Uniqueness: Here are no two identical fingerprints. One's 10 fingers are not the same. Dermatoglyphics style, Striae height, density, quantity and location of the point are not the same for everyone. No individual has ever displayed the same fingerprint from another digit even if taken from the same hand.
  •   Invariance: The raised pattern network of lifetime from birth to death will not change even if it is due to the regeneration of the labor dermatoglyphics style, quantity and profile shape which is determined the same later.
  •   Hereditary: According to science statistics, immediate family members will be more or less the same between the Striae. Normal human cells have 23 pairs of chromosomes. If the chromosomes of the tree or structure are changed, it will cause the corresponding Striae mutation. Therefore, the Striae have inherited the mutation.

Benefits of Dermatoglyphics:

  •   Discover innate strengths and weakness
  •   Enhance learning experience by identifying learning styles
  •   Personalize academic and extra curriculum programs
  •   Minimize time & financial commitments on courses
  •   Reveal hidden talents
  •   Build confidence
  •   Improve family relationships
  •   Make academic and career choices easier