Connecticut Families Extra: How Handwriting Stimulates the Brain

Connecticut Families

(WTNH) — Today many students have traded pen and paper for a keyboard and screen. But when it comes to taking notes, is typing as effective as old-fashioned writing?

It might be more time consuming, but a new study shows writing by hand may offer benefits over keying on a computer. Scientists used EEG technology to examine the brain activity of 20 undergraduate students as they took notes during a word activity.

They found regions of the brain associated with learning were more active when the participants drew descriptions of the words they saw by hand as opposed to taking notes by typing the descriptions.

Authors of the study say their findings suggest writing or drawing by hand promotes deeper encoding of new information in ways that keyboard typing doesn’t.

It may also improve a person’s memory for new information, as handwriting involves rich sensory-motor experiences that help stimulate the brain. So don’t overlook the old-fashioned pen or pencil when it comes to helping your child learn.

Researchers say the fact that handwriting is a slower process than typing might also offer benefits.

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