-*Is handwriting passé in the Digital Era?
-*Has keyboarding eclipsed pen and paper?
University of Washington’s Virginia Berninger with Robert Abbott, Amy Augsburger, and Noelia Garcia argue that handwriting provides valuable cognitive training, and advantages in expressive speed, fluency, and productivity.
Berninger’s team conducted brain scans and found that the brain’s thinking, language, and “working memory” regions are more activated when handwriting letters than when typing.
This change in brain activation occurs because handwriting letters generally requires more than one sequential stroke, rather than selecting a letter key during typing, according to Berninger.
Berninger’s studies demonstrated students in grades two, four and six wrote more words more quickly and expressed more ideas when writing essays by hand versus with a keyboard.
Karin Harman James’s research using an fMRI at Indiana University confirms the benefits of handwriting.
With Isabel Gauthier of Vanderbilt University, she showed alphabet letters to children before and after they received letter-learning instruction.
Participants who practiced printing by hand showed more enhanced and “adult-like” the neural activity than those who had simply looked at letters.
James suggested that adults may show similar neural activity benefits when learning a new graphically-different language, such as Mandarin, or symbol systems for mathematics, music and chemistry.
Université de la Méditerranée’s Marieke Longcamp, Céline Boucard, Jean-Claude Gilhodes and Jean-Luc Velay with Jean-Luc Anton, Muriel Roth, and Bruno Nazarian of Hôpital de La Timone, Marseille, France demonstrated other neural benefits of handwriting: Movements memorized when learning how to handwrite enabled adults to more effectively recognize graphic shapes and letters.
Steve Graham, now of Arizona State University, with Michael Hebert, now of University of Nebraska, demonstrated that handwriting is still associated with improved classroom performance, even when most classrooms and students type on computers.
Besides enhancing academic achievement, writing can be a coping tool, according to University of Chicago’s Sian Beilock.
She reported that bright students managed test anxiety by writing about their anxieties to “off-load” them.
Beilock collaborated with Andrew Mattarella-Micke, Jill Mateo, Neil Albert and Katherine Foster of University of Chicago, and Vanderbilt University’s Marci DeCaro, Robin Thomas of Miami University, and Megan Kozak of Pace University to study students as they derived solutions to challenging math problems.
The team confirmed that those who performed well on the math problems said that they did not have math anxiety, whereas low performers said they were anxious about math performance.
A less expected finding was that both high performers and low performers had the stress hormone, cortisol, in their saliva.
Although both groups experienced measurable stress, the performance outcome was mediated by the calm or anxious “mindset,” suggesting that performance can be enhanced through managing anxiety and expectations.
Writing by hand helped participants boost performance by reducing anxiety and freeing working memory to focus on the math problems.
Handwriting practice may be valuable for adults as well as children, according to P. Murali Doraiswamy of Duke University, who suggested that handwriting practice may be a useful treatment to stabilize cognitive losses in aging.
-*How often do you use handwriting and printing instead of typing on a keyboard?
Blog – Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary
LinkedIn Open Group Psychology in Human Resources (Organisational Psychology)
Pingback: Writing Power Primer Increases Power in High-Stakes Performance | Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary
Pingback: Your Brain in Court: Cognitive Privacy, US Constitution and Neuroimaging | Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary
Pingback: Does Music Training Improve Other Skills? | Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary
Pingback: Listening to Music Increases Endurance, Reduce Perceived Discomfort in Physical Exercise | Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary