"writing by hand is more than just a way to communicate. The practice helps with learning letters and shapes, can improve idea composition and expression, and may aid fine motor-skill development"
"could be a good cognitive exercise for baby boomers working to keep their minds sharp as they age."
"there's real value in learning and maintaining this ancient skill, even as we increasingly communicate electronically via keyboards big and small."
"Recent research illustrates how writing by hand engages the brain in learning. During one study at Indiana University published this year, researchers invited children to man a "spaceship," actually an MRI machine using a specialized scan called "functional" MRI that spots neural activity in the brain. The kids were shown letters before and after receiving different letter-learning instruction. In children who had practiced printing by hand, the neural activity was far more enhanced and "adult-like" than in those who had simply looked at letters."
"Adults may benefit similarly when learning a new graphically different language, such as Mandarin, or symbol systems for mathematics, music and chemistry, Dr. James says. For instance, in a 2008 study in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, adults were asked to distinguish between new characters and a mirror image of them after producing the characters using pen-and-paper writing and a computer keyboard. The result: For those writing by hand, there was stronger and longer-lasting recognition of the characters' proper orientation, suggesting that the specific movements memorized when learning how to write aided the visual identification of graphic shapes."
"Other research highlights the hand's unique relationship with the brain when it comes to composing thoughts and ideas. Virginia Berninger, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington, says handwriting differs from typing because it requires executing sequential strokes to form a letter, whereas keyboarding involves selecting a whole letter by touching a key."
"She says pictures of the brain have illustrated that sequential finger movements activated massive regions involved in thinking, language and working memory—the system for temporarily storing and managing information."
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
A Reminder To My Students To Copy Your Notes (Besides The Extra Credit, It Makes You Smarter)
See the Wall Street Journal article How Handwriting Trains the Brain: Forming Letters Is Key to Learning, Memory, Ideas. Besides the notes, I also encourage my students to write down complete answers to all the study questions. Doing all this will help you remember and learn better. Here are exerpts from the article: