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Dermatoglyphics Multiple Intelligence Test (DMIT) from IAMI

History Of Dermatoglyphics

Dermatoglyphics Multiple Intelligence Test (DMIT) from IAMI The history of fingerprinting dates back to ancient China and India. There had been traditions, customs and beliefs in these countries about fingerprint patterns and its impacts. Clay seals having thumb imprint have been found in early Chinese culture. The earliest example comes from a Chinese document from the Qin Dynasty (221 to 206 B.C.). The document contains a description of how handprints were used as a type of evidence.

Modern development of study of fingerprint pattern analysis or Dermatoglyphics has been recorded 16th century onwards. Major work and contribution which has been noted are as follows -

Year 1684 - Dr Nehemiah Grew was basically a plant anatomist and physiologist and has presented several papers on these subjects. Grew is considered to be one of the pioneers of dactyloscopy. He was the first person to study and describe ridges, furrows, and pores on hand and foot surfaces. In 1684, he published accurate drawings of finger ridge patters and presented a paper titling “The description and use of the pores in the skin of the hands and feet” to Royal Society of London.

Year 1685 - Dr Govard Bidloo was a Dutch physician and anatomist who published an anatomical atlas with the title ‘Anatomia Humani Corporis’. It has illustrations showing the human figures both in living attitudes and as dissected cadavers. He was so renowned that William III, the Dutch stadholder and King of England appointed him his personal physician. He did discoveries on lungs, brain and sensory organs.

Year 1686 - Dr. Marcello Malphigi was an Italian doctor who had done tremendous work in the area of plant and animal anatomy. He is credited working with the newly invented microscope. As a part of his study of human skin he explained the outlines on the tips of fingers. He did significant discoveries on lungs, brain and sensory organs, animal embryology and seedling development. In his treatise, Malpighi noted that ridged skin increases friction between an object and the skin’s surface; friction ridge skin thus enhances traction for walking and grasping. In recognition of Malpighi’s work, a layer of skin (stratum Malpighi) was named after him.

Year 1788 – Dr. J.C.Mayer was a German doctor and anatomist who wrote a book titled ‘Anatomical Copper-plates with Appropriate Explanations’. This book contained detailed drawings of friction ridge skin patterns. He was the first one to write that friction ridge skin is unique and quoted, “Although the arrangement of skin ridges is never duplicated in two persons, nevertheless the similarities are closer among some individuals. In others the differences are marked, yet in spite of their peculiarities of arrangement all have a certain likeness”.

Year 1823 - Dr. Jan Purkinje, a professor at the University of Breslau in Germany, classified fingerprint patterns into nine categories and gave each a name. These were called - arch, tented arch, ulnar loop, radial loop, peacock’s eye/compound, spiral whorl, elliptical whorl, circular whorl, and double loop/composite. Although Dr. Purkinje went no further than naming the patterns, his contribution is significant because his nine pattern types were the precursor to the further researches.

Year 1856 – Hermann Welcker was a German anthropologist and was professor in University of Halle. The scientist led the way of the study of friction ridge skin permanence. Welcker began by printing his own right hand in 1856 and then again in 1897, thus gaining credit as the first person to start a permanence study.

Year 1858 – Sir William James Herschel was a British who worked for East India Company and was posted in Bengal. He applied the friction ridge permanence in investigating criminal records and handling their cases in courts.

Year 1880 – Dr Henry Faulds was a medical practitioner who opened a hospital in Japan and became interested in friction ridge skin after seeing ridge detail on pottery found on a Japanese beach. Faulds was the first person to publish in a journal on the value of friction ridge skin for individualization, especially its use as evidence.

Year 1893 - Sir Francis Galton was the author of the first book on fingerprints (Finger Prints, 1892). In his book Galton established that friction ridge skin was unique and persistent. He was the first to apply statistical methods to the study of human differences and inheritance of intelligence. As an investigator of the human mind, Sir Galton founded psychometrics (the science of measuring mental faculties) & differential psychology clubbed with the lexical hypothesis of personality. He devised a way of classifying fingerprints that contributed well in forensic science.

Year 1894 – Sir Edward Richard Henry, Inspector General of Police for the Lower Provinces, Bengal, collaborated with Galton on a method of classification for fingerprints. When classification system was developed and proved to be effective it was verified for a comparative review of anthropometry and fingerprints. This system was named Henry Classification System and it proved to be a milestone in fingerprint mapping.

Year 1918 – H. H. Wilder, of USA, inaugurated investigations into comparative dermatoglyphics and produced work on the methodology and morphology of both palmar and plantar (feet) dermatoglyphics. He was influenced by Galton's initial pioneering work and gave his contributions to then scientific world’s inclination to the investigation of embryogenesis of dermatoglyphic patterns and conducted the first studies investigating the genetic significance of dermatoglyphic patterns.

Year 1926 - Dr. Harold Cummins, an American scientist, contributed significantly to take this science to new heights. He is known as father of fingerprinting analysis. It was he who coined the term “dermatoglyphics”. He did not found this science. He built on the foundations of others and willingly acknowledged his debt to previous investigators, in particular Francis Galton and H. H. Wilder. He is remembered for his research on Down syndrome where he showed that dermatoglyphics can help in identifying these patients.

Year 1936 - Dr. Harold Cummins alongwith his fellow colleague Dr. Charles Midlo did research on embryo-genesis of skin ridge patterns and the duo established that the fingerprint patterns actually develop in the womb and are fully formed by the fourth fetal month.

Year 1957 - Dr. Norman Ford Walker of Canada used the dermal configurations in the diagnosis of mongolism. Dr Walker used an objective method of discriminating between Mongols and Normals based on fingers, palm and sole pattern. An index is calculated from these skin pattern which records disturbance of growth at the third and fourth fetal months.

Year 1968 – Sarah B Holt from USA was a doctor and did studies in the field of fingerprint pattern and wrote a book called ‘Genetics of Dermal Ridges : The Relationship Between Total Ridge Count And The Variability Of Counts From Finger To Finger’. She mentioned that formation of ridges is completed by fourth fetal month and that how calculations should be made about it.

Development At The Turn Of The Century – With the advancement in technology by the turn of the century, several new facets have been explored and looked at in the field of genetics, psychology, brainphysiology, dermatoglyphics, embryology, neurology, computers and software. It paved further way for developmental aid design and talent nurturing. Interest and awareness in Multiple Intelligence grew manifolds especially in the eastern world. These markets received new books, literature and tools in the field of Multiple Intelligence & Developmental Education, and they embraced it showing a lot of enthusiasm.

Professor Roger Lin, International Psychologist Consultant, was one of the pioneers who worked to coin programmes that included analysis, counseling and educational aid regarding human potential. He introduced the interface of software to relate dermatoglyphics and intelligence which gave a remarkable forward push to this science.

Dr Marry Lai of Taiwan, the founder of MME programme (Mind Measurement Education Programme) has done extensive research in the field of dermatoglyphics and its impact from genetics to understand the cognitive development. She corroborated statistics and improved algorithms of ridge counts / patterns and its relation to the ability to understand and interpreted results out of it to form the basis of link between dermatoglyphic and intelligence.

The advancement in technology provided highly sensitive devices to bring precision in the results. It paved way for innovative application and usage of this science by easing the process of measurement and interpretation which was not handy earlier.




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