Researchers have identified how the human brain is able to determine the properties of a particular object from touch alone, a so-called inner pickpocket trait. This so-called inner pickpocket trait is inherent in all of us, they say, and is the reason a thief can pilfer a handbag and instantly pull out the most valuable item. It relies on the brain's ability to break up a continuous stream of information and turn it into smaller chunks. This manifests itself for professional pickpockets as being bale to interpret the sequence of small depressions on their fingers separate well-defined objects. 'Notably, the participants in our study were not selected for being professional pickpockets - so these results also suggest there is a secret, statistically savvy pickpocket in all of us,' said Professor Máté Lengyel from the University of Cambridge, who co-led the research.