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Pen Mightier Than Keyboard for Making Imprint on Brain - featured January 26, 2011

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The act of handwriting activates brain regions that help boost recall, researchers find

[Source: BusinessWeek - HealthDay]

As keyboards increasingly replace pens, new research cautions that the switch may come with an unforeseen price: the loss of critical brain activity central to learning that is uniquely tied to the old-fashioned act of handwriting.

The concern stems from the results of a number of experiments recently reviewed by a pair of researchers in France and Norway, who concluded that writing by hand is actually a very different sensory experience than typing on a keyboard, with each activating distinctly different parts of the brain.

"Our bodies are designed to interact with the world which surrounds us," co-author associate professor Anne Mangen from the University of Stavangers Reading Centre in Stavanger, Norway, said in a university news release. "We are living creatures, geared toward using physical objects -- be it a book, a keyboard or a pen -- to perform certain tasks."

This is evidenced, she said, in tests that reveal that the act of handwriting -- literally the feeling of touching a pen to paper -- appears to imprint a "motor memory" in the sensorimotor region of the brain.

Read the Rest of this Article on BusinessWeek.com




Tags: News of the Week Handwriting Newsletter 28 January 2011