Trends in Neuroscience and Education published research examining the visual motor connections in the brain when tracing, handwriting and typing in preschool children. Since handwriting letters has been shown to increase Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) signal during letter perception in visual and motor brain regions the researchers investigated functional connectivity by analyzing BOLD data obtained from 4 to 6 year-old children after learning symbols through handwriting, tracing, or typing.
The data analysis revealed that functional conditions between:
- visual and parietal regions increased after all training conditions.
- visual and ventral frontal regions increased after handwriting training with letters more than shapes.
- visual and dorsal frontal motor regions increased more after handwriting than typing letters.
The researchers concluded that visual-motor training creates functional connections among visual and motor brain regions that reflect different aspects of the handwriting experience.
Reference: Vinci-Booher, S., James, T. W., & James, K. H. (2016). Visual-motor functional connectivity in preschool children emerges after handwriting experience. Trends in Neuroscience and Education, 5(3), 107-120.
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