A New York Times article by Maria Konnikova cites a series of studies showing separate neural activations associated with printing, cursive (longhand) handwriting vs typing by children (Berninger et al., 2006 Dev Neuropsychol), and greater activation of a “reading circuit” during subsequent character recognition in children who had printed rather than typed or traced (James & Engelhardt, 2012 Trends Neurosci Educ). Researchers also found better performance on conceptual questions (even a week later) among students who were handwriting vs typing their classroom notes (Mueller & Oppenheimer, 2014 Psychol Sci)—possibly because students who type can transcribe lectures verbatim without processing the words (even when warned not to engage in verbatim transcription). (Performance on factual recall questions was similar for those who took notes by handwriting or keyboard.) See also the article by Robinson Meyer in The Atlantic. The Konnikova article also cites (without attribution) the finding that both dysgraphia and alexia can be specific to either printed text or cursive writing, and mentions a review suggesting that cursive may help developmental dysgraphics learn to write without reversingand inverting letters (Montgomery, 2012).
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