ArticleLiterature Review

The “handwriting brain”: A meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies of motor versus orthographic processes

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Abstract

Handwriting is a modality of language production whose cerebral substrates remain poorly known although the existence of specific regions is postulated. The description of brain damaged patients with agraphia and, more recently, several neuroimaging studies suggest the involvement of different brain regions. However, results vary with the methodological choices made and may not always discriminate between "writing-specific" and motor or linguistic processes shared with other abilities. We used the "Activation Likelihood Estimate" (ALE) meta-analytical method to identify the cerebral network of areas commonly activated during handwriting in 18 neuroimaging studies published in the literature. Included contrasts were also classified according to the control tasks used, whether non-specific motor/output-control or linguistic/input-control. These data were included in two secondary meta-analyses in order to reveal the functional role of the different areas of this network. An extensive, mainly left-hemisphere network of 12 cortical and sub-cortical areas was obtained; three of which were considered as primarily writing-specific (left superior frontal sulcus/middle frontal gyrus area, left intraparietal sulcus/superior parietal area, right cerebellum) while others related rather to non-specific motor (primary motor and sensorimotor cortex, supplementary motor area, thalamus and putamen) or linguistic processes (ventral premotor cortex, posterior/inferior temporal cortex). This meta-analysis provides a description of the cerebral network of handwriting as revealed by various types of neuroimaging experiments and confirms the crucial involvement of the left frontal and superior parietal regions. These findings provide new insights into cognitive processes involved in handwriting and their cerebral substrates.

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... We directly tested a set of 22 white matter tracts that connect cortical regions known to support motor and sensory processing during symbol drawing 30,[33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40] (Figure 1a). The Superior Longitudinal Fasciculus (SLF 1 and 2 combined, SLF 3) directly connects frontal and parietal cortices where neural processing is largely associated with motor planning and control, respectively 23 . ...
... ; https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.01.10.523345 doi: bioRxiv preprint selected based on its unique anatomical connectivity in relation to the functional responses observed during drawing in prior works 30,34,35,37,38 , including SLF 1 and 2 (combined), SLF 3, pArc, TPC, MDLFspl, MDLFang, Arc, ILF, IFOF, VOF, and FAT in the left and right hemispheres. The relaxed lasso analysis indicated that the left SLF 3 in dorsal cortex and the left pArc in the PVP comprised the group of tracts that explained the most variance in drawing learning (see Results). ...
... Both white matter tracts selected to predict drawing learning were in the left hemisphere, suggesting that learning to draw novel symbols might be supported by left-lateralized communications conveyed along the pArc and SLF 3, consistent with evidence of left-lateralization of functional processes during drawing. Literate adults engage a left-lateralized cortical system during drawing, including regions within the frontal motor, parietal, and ventral temporal lobes 30,[33][34][35][37][38][39]47,48 , and these regions are joined by the left pArc and left SLF 3 27,29,49 . Furthermore, work in children has demonstrated that the pArc is correlated with individual differences in drawing ability in the left but not the right hemispheres, even after controlling for age 41 . ...
Preprint
Human learning is a complex phenomenon that varies greatly among individuals and is related to the microstructure of major white matter tracts in several learning domains, yet the impact of the existing myelination of major white matter tracts on future learning outcomes remains unclear. We employed a machine-learning model selection framework to evaluate whether existing microstructure might predict individual differences in the potential for learning a sensorimotor task, and further, if the mapping between the microstructure of major white matter tracts and learning was selective for learning outcomes. We used diffusion tractography to measure the mean fractional anisotropy (FA) of major white matter tracts in 60 adult participants who then underwent training and subsequent testing to evaluate learning. During training, participants practiced drawing a set of 40 novel symbols repeatedly using a digital writing tablet. For testing, we measured drawing learning as the slope of draw duration over the practice session; we measured visual recognition learning as the performance accuracy in an old/new 2-AFC recognition task. We performed two separate analyses, one that assessed the relationship between pre-training FA and learning to draw novel symbols and a second that assessed the relationship between pre-training FA and learning to visually recognize symbols after training. Both analyses focused on the microstructure of white matter tracts that connect dorsal and ventral cortices, the posterior vertical pathway (PVP), as well as tracts within the dorsal motor system and within the ventral perceptual system. Results demonstrated that the microstructure of major white matter tracts selectively predicted learning outcomes, with left hemisphere pArc and SLF 3 tracts predicting drawing learning and the left hemisphere MDLFspl predicting visual recognition learning. These results were replicated in a repeat, held-out data set and supported with complementary analyses. Overall, results suggest that individual differences in the microstructure of human white matter tracts may be selectively related to future learning outcomes that arise from a single experience and open avenues of inquiry concerning the impact of existing tract myelination and individual differences in the potential for learning.
... Previous functional imaging studies have revealed brain architecture that supports handwriting, showing that a distributed brain network is engaged in handwriting, including the left posterior middle frontal gyrus (also referred to as Exner's area), primary motor cortex, postcentral gyrus, intraparietal sulcus (IPS), superior parietal lobule (SPL), usiform gyrus (FuG), and cerebellum [6,7]. Specifically, Exner's area is regarded as a handwritingspecific brain region that transforms information from orthographic codes into graphic programs [8,9] and orthographic working memory [10]. ...
... Specifically, Exner's area is regarded as a handwritingspecific brain region that transforms information from orthographic codes into graphic programs [8,9] and orthographic working memory [10]. In addition, the IPS/SPL and cerebellum are the neural substrates of motor execution involved in handwriting [6,7]. The than characters learned by writing in pinyin (alphabetic writing system) [29]. ...
... To explore how the neural circuitry of handwriting relates to that of reading, we conducted a series of correlation analyses between regional activation and lateralization of key regions involved in handwriting and reading including Exner's area, the MFG, the left IPS, the bilateral FuG, and the right cerebellum [7]. Spherical ROIs were created with a 6-mm radius. ...
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Handwriting plays an important role in written communication, reading, and academic success. However, little is known about the neural correlates of handwriting in children. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a copying task, we investigated regional brain activation and functional lateralization associated with Chinese handwriting in children (N = 36, 9–11 years old), as well as their relations to reading skills. We found significant activation of the bilateral frontal motor cortices, somatosensory cortex, intraparietal sulcus (IPS), fusiform gyrus (FuG), and cerebellum during handwriting, suggesting that an adult-like brain activation pattern emerges by middle childhood. Moreover, children showed left-lateralized and bilateral activation of motor regions and right-lateralized activation of the FuG and cerebellum during handwriting, suggesting that functional lateralization of handwriting is not fully established by this age. Finally, the activation of Exner’s area and the lateralization of the IPS and cerebellum during handwriting were correlated with reading skills, possibly representing a neural link between handwriting and reading in children. Collectively, this study reveals the brain correlates of handwriting and their relation to reading development in Chinese children, offering new insight into the development of handwriting and reading skills.
... An fMRI study by Beeson et al. (2003) confirmed the critical role of the left frontal-parietal network associated with the peripheral writing processes. In particular, left superior parietal lobule (BA 7) activation seems to be associated with the representation, serial selection, and production of letter shapes (Rapp & Dufor, 2011), and it may also play a role in a high-level interface between language and motor areas during writing (Planton, Jucla, Roux, & Démonet, 2013;Segal & Petrides, 2012). The left dorsal premotor cortex is involved in the processing of translating orthographic information into appropriate hand movements (Beeson et al., 2003;Menon & Desmond, 2001). ...
... Twenty-three right-handed native Chinese speakers (11 men and 12 women) from Renmin University of China participated in the study. The sample size is similar to that used in most fMRI studies on written language production (e.g., the range of the sample size is 8-20 participants; see Planton et al., 2013;Purcell, Napoliello, & Eden, 2011) and seemed appropriate for our study. All participants were university students with a mean age of 22 years (range: 18-25 years). ...
... In the "writing > speaking plus drawing" contrast, we found activation associated with writing in Chinese in the right frontal cortex, that is, the right precentral gyrus (BA 6). This matches observations from a meta-analysis by Planton et al. (2013) where peaks of the right frontal region (close to the precentral sulcus) were reported in various writing tasks. Our results are also consistent with Roux et al. (2009), who have proposed that this region is the right homologue of the left writing-specific prefrontal area (also referred as graphemic/motor frontal area), which serves an interface between graphemic abstract representations and the formation of motor command. ...
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Writing is an important way to communicate in everyday life because it can convey information over time and space, but its neural substrates remain poorly known. Although the neural basis of written language production has been investigated in alphabetic scripts, it has rarely been examined in nonalphabetic languages such as Chinese. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging study explored the neural substrates of handwritten word production in Chinese and identified the brain regions sensitive to the psycholinguistic factors of word frequency and syllable frequency. To capture this, we contrasted neural activation in "writing" with "speaking plus drawing" and "watching plus drawing." Word frequency (high, low) and syllable frequency (high, low) of the picture names were manipulated. Contrasts between the tasks showed that writing Chinese characters was mainly associated with brain activation in the left frontal and parietal cortex, whereas orthographic processing and the motor procedures necessary for handwritten production were also related to activation in the right frontal and parietal cortex as well as right putamen/thalamus. These results demonstrate that writing Chinese characters requires activation in bilateral cortical regions and the right putamen/thalamus. Our results also revealed no brain activation associated with the main effects of word frequency and syllable frequency as well as their interaction, which implies that word frequency and syllable frequency may not affect the writing of Chinese characters on a neural level.
... Furthermore, functional neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that central and peripheral processes have distinct brain regions. For instance, the left inferior frontal gyrus and fusiform gyrus assist with the central component, while the left posterior middle frontal gyrus (Exner's area), inferior/ superior parietal lobule, and cerebellum serve the peripheral component (Planton et al., 2013;Purcell et al., 2011). ...
... Conversely, multiple behavioral studies have found that manipulating linguistic variables modulates motor responses in handwriting, implying that the central and peripheral processes interact (Delattre et al., 2006;Kandel et al., 2013;Kandel & Perret, 2015;Planton et al., 2013;Zhang & Feng, 2017). For example, word frequency (Delattre et al., 2006;Kandel & Perret, 2015) and lexicality (the lexical variable) Zhang & Feng, 2017) impact motor duration and motor fluency. ...
... We found that the manipulation of character frequency (a central variable) elicited reconfiguration of the brain networks for motor processes, including the SMN and cerebellar network, in both children and adults. Moreover, the connectivity strength of these motor-related networks was correlated with both motor and linguistic factors, suggesting that the central and peripheral interaction involved in handwriting was implemented in a distributed brain network Kandel & Perret, 2015;Planton et al., 2013;Zhang & Feng, 2017). Finally, we found that children and adults exhibited qualitative differences in FC between motor and cognitive-linguistic brain networks, implying that the brain systems for the interaction between central and peripheral processes involved in handwriting vary with age. ...
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The neural mechanisms that support handwriting, an important mode of human communication, are thought to be controlled by a central process (responsible for spelling) and a peripheral process (responsible for motor output). However, the relationship between central and peripheral processes has been debated. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, this study examined the neural mechanisms underlying this relationship in Chinese handwriting in 36 children (mean age = 10.40 years) and 56 adults (mean age = 22.36 years) by manipulating character frequency (a central variable). Brain network analysis showed that character frequency reconfigured functional brain networks known to underlie motor processes, including the somatomotor and cerebellar network, in both children and adults, indicating that central processing cascades into peripheral processing. Furthermore, the network analysis characterized the interaction profiles between motor networks and linguistic-cognitive networks, fully mapping the neural architecture that supports the interaction of central and peripheral processes involved in handwriting. Taken together, these results reveal the neural interface underlying the interaction between central and peripheral processes involved in handwriting in a logographic writing system, advancing our understanding of the neural basis of handwriting.
... 13 Moreover, the inferior and superior parietal lobules have been found to serve as the storage for motor programs, while the cerebellum is thought to carry out planning and execution-specific motor programs during handwriting. 15 Typically, handwriting skill takes about 10 years for an individual to develop. 16 Through this long period of learning and practice, individuals establish a stable personal handwriting style. ...
... Among the five FFM personality dimensions, we considered conscientiousness (related to orderliness and impulse control) to be the most plausible personality trait that modulated brain responses during handwriting, for the following two reasons: (1) conscientiousness is associated with the performance and efficiency of serial order actions 39 and working memory, 40 which are necessarily engaged in handwriting processing; and (2) considerable evidence suggests the frontal cortex as the neural substrate of conscientiousness, 34,41 and this region is critically involved in handwriting. 15 Besides, openness to experience is also likely to modulate brain activity of handwriting, as it has been found to be associated with cognitive processes that are involved in handwriting process, including working memory 42 and the efficiency of information processing. 43 We then examined the specificity of correlation between personality and handwriting by testing whether personality traits also modulated brain activation during a symbol-drawing task (sharing the visual-motor process with the handwriting task) and a word-reading task (sharing with the handwriting task the visual-orthographic as well as incidental phonological and semantic processing of the linguistic stimuli). ...
... Figure 1A).These brain regions were consistent with previous findings of the neural correlates of handwriting. 15,55,56 We then examined whether personality traits were associated with brain activation during handwriting. Results showed that the scores of conscientiousness were positively correlated with brain activation in the left premotor region (peak at MNI: x = −34, y = −10, z = 46) and right IFG extending to MFG (x = 52, y = 10, z = 28) ( Figure 1B). ...
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Handwriting is a vital skill for everyday human activities. It has a wealth of information about writers' characteristics and can hint toward underlying neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, autism, dyslexia, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Many previous studies have reported a link between personality and individual differences in handwriting, but the evidence for the relationship tends to be anecdotal in nature. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we examined whether the association between personality traits and handwriting was instantiated at the neural level. Results showed that the personality trait of conscientiousness modulated brain activation in the left premotor cortex and right inferior/middle frontal gyrus, which may reflect the impact of personality on orthography-to-grapheme transformation and executive control involved in handwriting. Such correlations were not observed in symbol-drawing or word-reading tasks, suggesting the specificity of the link between conscientiousness and handwriting in these regions. Moreover, using a connectome-based predictive modeling approach, we found that individuals' conscientiousness scores could be predicted based on handwriting-related functional brain networks, suggesting that the influence of personality on handwriting may occur within a broader network. Our findings provide neural evidence for the link between personality and handwriting processing, extending our understanding of the nature of individual differences in handwriting.
... Moreover, handwriting samples can be easily digitalized by using smartphone-based high-resolution cameras and transmitted directly to a central hub for subsequent analysis. From a biological perspective, handwriting represents an acquired complex cognitive and motor skill resulting from the activation of a widespread brain network (Menon and Desmond, 2001;Lubrano et al., 2004;Purcell et al., 2011;Planton et al., 2013;Baldo et al., 2018;Chen et al., 2019;Bartoň et al., 2020). Indeed, in the clinical setting, handwriting is yet largely used to assess motor abilities in patients with PD (i.e., evaluation of micrographia and slowness of hand movements) and it is typically included in standardized clinical scales designed to examine cognitive functions in patients with dementia such as AD (Folstein et al., 1975). ...
... By contrast, some reports suggested increased rather than decreased stroke size in elderly subjects (Rosenblum et al., 2013) raising the possibility of relevant heterogeneity in previous methodologies and experimental approaches. Abnormal stroke sizes observed in the elderly during handwriting would point to the effect of physiological aging on brain networks contributing to this high-level cognitive function (Purcell et al., 2011;Planton et al., 2013;Bartoň et al., 2020). Clinical, neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that handwriting relies on the widespread synergic activity of several brain regions, the writing network. ...
... Indeed, selective brain lesions in the angular gyrus/precentral gyrus/left perisylvian regions and in the left superior parietal/premotor regions are known to lead to dysorthographias (i.e., lexical or phonological components) (Roeltgen and Heilman, 1984;Rapcsak et al., 1988Rapcsak et al., , 2009Alexander et al., 1992b) and apraxic agraphia (i.e., grapheme tracing) (Auerbach and Alexander, 1981;Anderson et al., 1990;Alexander et al., 1992a), respectively. Lastly, the writing network also reflects the activation of subcortical structures such as the basal ganglia (i.e., striatum) and the anterior cerebellum (Kim et al., 2005;Purcell et al., 2011;Planton et al., 2013Planton et al., , 2017Letanneux et al., 2014;Zham et al., 2019;Bartoň et al., 2020;Kanno et al., 2020). In the elderly, the age-related progressive reduction in stroke sizes during handwriting would therefore reflect structural or functional changes in cortico-subcortical components of the writing network (Purcell et al., 2011;Planton et al., 2013;Bartoň et al., 2020). ...
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Background Handwriting is an acquired complex cognitive and motor skill resulting from the activation of a widespread brain network. Handwriting therefore may provide biologically relevant information on health status. Also, handwriting can be collected easily in an ecological scenario, through safe, cheap, and largely available tools. Hence, objective handwriting analysis through artificial intelligence would represent an innovative strategy for telemedicine purposes in healthy subjects and people affected by neurological disorders. Materials and Methods One-hundred and fifty-six healthy subjects (61 males; 49.6 ± 20.4 years) were enrolled and divided according to age into three subgroups: Younger adults (YA), middle-aged adults (MA), and older adults (OA). Participants performed an ecological handwriting task that was digitalized through smartphones. Data underwent the DBNet algorithm for measuring and comparing the average stroke sizes in the three groups. A convolutional neural network (CNN) was also used to classify handwriting samples. Lastly, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and sensitivity, specificity, positive, negative predictive values (PPV, NPV), accuracy and area under the curve (AUC) were calculated to report the performance of the algorithm. Results Stroke sizes were significantly smaller in OA than in MA and YA. The CNN classifier objectively discriminated YA vs. OA (sensitivity = 82%, specificity = 80%, PPV = 78%, NPV = 79%, accuracy = 77%, and AUC = 0.84), MA vs. OA (sensitivity = 84%, specificity = 56%, PPV = 78%, NPV = 73%, accuracy = 74%, and AUC = 0.7), and YA vs. MA (sensitivity = 75%, specificity = 82%, PPV = 79%, NPV = 83%, accuracy = 79%, and AUC = 0.83). Discussion Handwriting progressively declines with human aging. The effect of physiological aging on handwriting abilities can be detected remotely and objectively by using machine learning algorithms.
... Handwriting is a highly skilled motor task involving a complex and highly trained motor network most likely associated with the activity of the contralateral primary sensorimotor area, the posterior parietal cortex with the superior and inferior parietal lobule, the lateral premotor cortex and ipsilateral to the cerebellum (Horovitz et al., 2013;Planton et al., 2013). In the majority of neuroimaging studies participants have been asked to write (Purcell et al., 2011;Segal and Petrides, 2012;Horovitz et al., 2013;Planton et al., 2013Planton et al., , 2017Yuan and Brown, 2015). ...
... Handwriting is a highly skilled motor task involving a complex and highly trained motor network most likely associated with the activity of the contralateral primary sensorimotor area, the posterior parietal cortex with the superior and inferior parietal lobule, the lateral premotor cortex and ipsilateral to the cerebellum (Horovitz et al., 2013;Planton et al., 2013). In the majority of neuroimaging studies participants have been asked to write (Purcell et al., 2011;Segal and Petrides, 2012;Horovitz et al., 2013;Planton et al., 2013Planton et al., , 2017Yuan and Brown, 2015). One exception is Planton's study (2017), in which he compared writing to drawing shapes as a non-linguistic, non-stereotyped manual motor task with similar motor complexity. ...
... In a second step, we limited our analysis to a handwriting network published by Planton et al. (2013) including the left hemisphere parts of the superior frontal gyrus, the primary motor and somatosensory cortex, the supplementary and presupplementary area, parts of the ventral premotor area and inferior frontal gyrus, the superior parietal lobule and parts of the posterior inferior temporal cortex. On a subcortical level, the left thalamus and the left putamen were included. ...
Article
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Objective In this study we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate whether motor imagery (MI) of handwriting and circle drawing activates a similar handwriting network as writing and drawing itself. Methods Eighteen healthy right-handed participants wrote the German word “ Wellen” and drew continuously circles in a sitting (vertical position) and lying position (horizontal position) to capture kinematic handwriting parameters such as velocity, pressure and regularity of hand movements. Afterward, they performed the same tasks during fMRI in a MI and an executed condition. Results The kinematic analysis revealed a general correlation of handwriting parameters during sitting and lying except of pen pressure during drawing. Writing compared to imagined writing was accompanied by an increased activity of the ipsilateral cerebellum and the contralateral sensorimotor cortex. Executed compared to imagined drawing revealed elevated activity of a fronto–parieto-temporal network. By contrasting writing and drawing directly, executed writing induced an enhanced activation of the left somatosensory and premotor area. The comparison of the MI of these tasks revealed a higher involvement of occipital activation during imagined writing. Conclusion The kinematic results pointed to a high comparability of writing in a vertical and horizontal position. Overall, we observed highly overlapping cortical activity except of a higher involvement of motor control areas during motor execution. The sparse difference between writing and drawing can be explained by highly automatized writing in healthy individuals.
... By using RSFC data in DYS and typically developing (TD) children, the present study aimed to answer the following research question: are there functional markers of graphomotor dysfunction visible at rest in DYS children? By measuring functional connectivity with a brain region responsible for handwriting, i.e., the graphemic/motor frontal area (GMFA) [26,27], in children with and without dyslexia, this study has the potential to significantly improve our understanding of writing impairment in dyslexia. ...
... The adult brain writing network has been identified and presented in two metaanalyses [27,37]. The writing network is composed of regions of the left hemisphere responsible for either the spelling processes (i.e., the fusiform gyrus, inferior temporal gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, superior temporal sulcus, supramarginal and superior temporal gyri) or the graphomotor processes (i.e., the parietal cortex, anterior and posterior regions of the right cerebellum, the graphemic/motor frontal area (GMFA), also known as the Exner area [26]). ...
... The cerebellar graphomotor areas play a role in the motor control of complex finger movements. However, their specificity for handwriting production has not been fully demonstrated as their recruitment was highlighted during other motor-related activities [27,37]. Moreover, an increasing number of studies focusing on the cerebellum have revealed that this is a multifunctional structure that connects with most parts of the brain [48][49][50]. ...
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Aim: Handwriting abilities in children with dyslexia (DYS) are not well documented in the current literature, and the presence of graphomotor impairment in addition to spelling impairment in dyslexia is controversial. Using resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC), the present study aims to answer the following question: are there markers of graphomotor impairment at rest in DYS children? Method: The participants were children with DYS and typically developing (TD) children (n = 32) from French-speaking primary schools (Mage = 9.3 years). The behavioural evaluation consisted of spelling and handwriting measures. Participants underwent a resting-state fMRI scan. Results: Analyses of RSFC focused on a brain region responsible for graphomotor processes-the graphemic/motor frontal area (GMFA). The RSFC between the GMFA and all other voxels of the brain was measured. Whole-brain ANOVAs were run to compare RSFC in DYS and TD children. The results demonstrated reduced RSFC in DYS compared to TD between the GMFA and brain areas involved in both spelling processes and motor-related processes. Conclusions: For the first time, this study highlighted a disruption of the writing network in DYS. By identifying functional markers of both spelling and handwriting deficits at rest in young DYS participants, this study supports the presence of graphomotor impairment in dyslexia.
... Overall, the field of research in dyslexia, and more generally in literacy, contains many more studies on reading than on writing. The authors have highlighted the need to investigate the writing side of literacy and to conceive experiments allowing us to concurrently study both central, i.e., spelling, and peripheral processes, i.e., handwriting (Abbott et al., 2010;Afonso et al., 2018;Gosse et al., 2018;Palmis et al., 2019;Planton et al., 2013;Purcell et al., 2011;Sumner et al., 2014). Great progress has been made in the past decade in understanding the processes involved in writing at both cognitive and neuroimaging levels. ...
... Great progress has been made in the past decade in understanding the processes involved in writing at both cognitive and neuroimaging levels. Of particular interest to the current experiment, the typical brain correlates of the central processes and the peripheral processes of writing have become quite well documented (Planton et al., 2013;Purcell et al., 2011), thanks to fMRI experiments conducted in healthy adults for the most part. Therefore, these recent advances in knowledge offer the opportunity to better understand handwriting difficulties in dyslexia. ...
... The behavioural difficulties in dyslexia have been corroborated by several neuroimaging experiments, which highlighted that individuals with dyslexia show less brain activation than typical readers in several brain regions crucial to reading and spelling (Maisog et al., 2008;Richlan et al., 2011). For example, past research has demonstrated that dyslexia is associated with reduced activation in the fusiform gyrus, which plays a key role for word recognition and orthographic recall (Planton et al., 2013). In addition to spelling impairment, handwriting difficulties in dyslexic samples have been reported, resulting in slowness and poor legibility (Martlew, 1992;Rose, 2009). ...
Article
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Aim Children with dyslexia (DYS) have a deficit in spelling (i.e., central processes of writing), and past experiments have suggested that they also frequently experience difficulties in handwriting (i.e., motor peripheral processes of writing) compared with typically developing children (TD). However, the presence of handwriting difficulties in dyslexia is controversial. This experiment aimed to better understand the writing difficulties in DYS children, investigating both the central and peripheral processes of writing and combining cognitive and neuroimaging data. Method Participants were 14 DYS and 14 TD (Mage = 9.5) children. They were assessed on behavioural measures (i.e., spelling, handwriting and manual dexterity). Structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data were collected. The fMRI task was a word-dictation task performed using pencil and paper and a head coil mirror providing visual feedback. Results Behavioural results revealed a clear spelling deficit and poorer handwriting in DYS than in TD. DYS and TD performed equally in handwriting speed and gross manual dexterity. fMRI data were analysed with an ROI approach using nine central ROIs and 10 peripheral ROIs, which constitute the writing network identified in past literature. fMRI results revealed less brain activation in both central and peripheral ROIs in DYS. The main peripheral differences were located in right lobule VI of the cerebellum. Structural data strengthened the presence of bilateral cerebellar abnormalities in dyslexia. Conclusion The present findings constitute a first piece of evidence that children with dyslexia's writing difficulties are not limited to the central processes of writing (i.e., spelling) and that they extend to the peripheral processes of writing (i.e., handwriting). This experiment is the first study to use an fMRI handwriting task to investigate DYS's writing abilities. These results encourage researchers to continue investigating DYS's spelling and handwriting difficulties with a neuroimaging approach. Future experiments are needed to determine whether the functional and structural anomalies observed are consequences of deviant literacy development or whether they could have a causal role in dyslexia.
... Much of what we know about how this neural system supports handwriting comes from studies on adult populations. The adult literature on handwriting suggests that handwriting is supported by a largely left-lateralized neural system comprised of ventraltemporal, parietal, and frontal motor regions (Katanoda et al., 2001;Beeson et al., 2003;James and Gauthier, 2006;Purcell et al., 2011;Rapp and Dufor, 2011;Dufor and Rapp, 2013;Planton et al., 2013Planton et al., , 2017Brown, 2014, 2015;Longcamp et al., 2014;Vinci-Booher et al., 2019;Vinci-Booher and James, 2020b). The involvement of brain regions in this broad neural system has been related to different aspects of the handwriting experience. ...
... To better understand the developmental trajectory of the neural system supporting handwriting and its relationship to early reading development, we assessed neural activation using fMRI imaging in adults and 5-8-year-old children while they wrote letters to dictation. We focused on activation in regions of the ventral-temporal, parietal, and frontal motor cortices that have been identified as being involved with handwriting in adults (Katanoda et al., 2001;Beeson et al., 2003;James and Gauthier, 2006;Purcell et al., 2011;Planton et al., 2013Planton et al., , 2017Longcamp et al., 2014;Brown, 2014, 2015;Vinci-Booher et al., 2019). All participants wrote letters to dictation on the MRItab with a writing utensil. ...
... We were primarily interested in understanding if the neural responses in specific regions of the ventral-temporal, parietal, and frontal motor cortices during handwriting changed with age. While a whole brain analysis might increase the likelihood of finding brain regions to be active during handwriting that were outside of our cortical areas of interest [e.g., the cerebellum (Purcell et al., 2011;Planton et al., 2013)], we chose to restrict our analyses to anatomically specific ROIs that we selected based on a priori hypotheses concerning their involvement in handwriting. Additionally, ROI analyses are more powerful and more robust against motion-related artifacts than other statistical analyses (e.g., functional connectivity; Poldrack, 2007). ...
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Handwriting is a complex visual-motor skill that affects early reading development. A large body of work has demonstrated that handwriting is supported by a widespread neural system comprising ventral-temporal, parietal, and frontal motor regions in adults. Recent work has demonstrated that this neural system is largely established by 8 years of age, suggesting that the development of this system occurs in young children who are still learning to read and write. We made use of a novel MRI-compatible writing tablet that allowed us to measure brain activation in 5–8-year-old children during handwriting. We compared activation during handwriting in children and adults to provide information concerning the developmental trajectory of the neural system that supports handwriting. We found that parietal and frontal motor involvement during handwriting in children is different from adults, suggesting that the neural system that supports handwriting changes over the course of development. Furthermore, we found that parietal and frontal motor activation correlated with a literacy composite score in our child sample, suggesting that the individual differences in the dorsal response during handwriting are related to individual differences in emerging literacy skills. Our results suggest that components of the widespread neural system supporting handwriting develop at different rates and provide insight into the mechanisms underlying the contributions of handwriting to early literacy development.
... A total of 13 brain areas can be categorized as directly involved in writing, motion control, and language in the cortex and sub-cortex. The 5 areas identified as directly associated with writing include the left superior frontal gyrus (left SFG), middle frontal gyrus (MiFG), left intraparietal sulcus (IPS), superior parietal lobe (SPL), and right cerebellum [30]. Motion-related areas include the primary motor cortex, sensorimotor cortex, SMA, thalamus, and putamen. ...
... Language-relevant functions activate the ventral premotor cortex and posterior and inferior temporal cortex. These functional areas plus areas involved in visual processing constitute the reference areas referred to by the current study [30]. Karimpoor et al., 2018 [3] used a touchscreen tablet to simulate a handwriting experiment performed while the subjects were monitored in an fMRI machine, and the results showed that the activated brain areas were similar to those identified during previous pencil and paper research. ...
... The categorizations were roughly defined, as most of the regions are multifunctional and involved in various tasks. The writing process involves the cerebellum [30,31], SFG [3,30], midcingulate cortex (MCC), superior parietal gyrus [3,30], and fusiform gyrus (VWFA) [3]. Language processing functions are associated with the IFG [24,31], Broca's area [3,26], POp [16], inferior parietal gyrus (IPG) [3,24], MTG [17][18][19], ROL [31], and ANG [3]. ...
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To test the scaffolding theory when applied to the teaching and learning of writing English as a foreign language, this cross-sectional study was conducted to collect physiological data. A total of 53 participants were randomly assigned into two groups, and brain activity was investigated during a guided-writing task using storytelling pictures. The writing task was further divided into four parts using graded levels of difficulty. The experimental group performed tasks in sequence from easy to difficult, whereas the comparison group performed the tasks at random. Outcomes included handwriting assessments and fMRI measurements. Writing outcome assessments were analyzed using SPSS, and scanned images were analyzed using Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM) software. The results revealed a positive learning effect associated with scaffolding instruction. The experimental group performed better during the writing tasks, and the fMRI images showed less intense and weaker reactions in the language processing region than were observed in the comparison group. The fMRI results also presented the experimental group with reduced motor and cognitive functions when writing in English. This study provides insight regarding brain activity during writing tasks in humans and may have implications for English-language instruction.
... Most neuroimaging studies related to agraphia in right-handed patients found that brain lesions were located in the left hemisphere, but there is still no consensus on the neural basis of agraphia [15,18,39,40]. Neural correlates of pure agraphia due to graphemic buffer deficit reported in the literature also remain unclear, although were mostly caused by left hemisphere injuries in right-handed patients. ...
... In addition, subcortical damage to prefrontal areas and in pre-and post-central gyri were associated with graphemic buffer impairments [43]. Additionally, two large meta-analyses [39,45] observed that the angular gyrus was not independently identified in central spelling processes. Awake brain surgery in our patient verified the absence of right hemisphere involvement in language. ...
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Pure agraphias are caused by graphemic buffer damage. The graphemic buffer stores graphemic representations that handle the transition from spelling lexicon to writing or oral spellings. The authors report a case of a crossed pure agraphia, following the post-surgical removal of a right frontal low-grade glioma in a right-handed French patient. He presented a pure agraphia displaying the features of a graphemic buffer impairment. Our patient only made spelling errors, whereas repetition and other oral language abilities remained perfect. We found a greater number of errors for longer stimuli, increased errors for the medially located graphemes, and agraphia for both words and non-words and error types, essentially consisting of omissions, substitutions, and letter transpositions. We also observed no significant effect of word frequency on spelling errors, but word length affected the rate of errors. The particularity of this case was linked to right frontal subcortical injuries in a right-handed subject. To our knowledge, it is the first report of a crossed pure agraphia caused by graphemic buffer impairment. Further studies are needed in order to analyse the role of subcortical structures, particularly the caudate nucleus in the graphemic buffer during writing tasks, as well as the participation of the non-dominant hemisphere in writing language.
... Moreover, the SMN has been widely identified to be engaged in handwriting. Functionally, the bilateral primary motor regions are involved in motor control (Planton et al., 2013), while the medial frontal gyrus (including the SMA) serves the process of Chinese writing sequence (Zhang Z. et al., 2021) or motor response preparation (Planton et al., 2013). Consequently, the coupling between the SMN and VN is recruited to support the coordination of visual and motor controls necessary for handwriting. ...
... Moreover, the SMN has been widely identified to be engaged in handwriting. Functionally, the bilateral primary motor regions are involved in motor control (Planton et al., 2013), while the medial frontal gyrus (including the SMA) serves the process of Chinese writing sequence (Zhang Z. et al., 2021) or motor response preparation (Planton et al., 2013). Consequently, the coupling between the SMN and VN is recruited to support the coordination of visual and motor controls necessary for handwriting. ...
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Developmental dyslexia (DD) is a neurological-based learning disorder that affects 5-17.5% of children. Handwriting difficulty is a prevailing symptom of dyslexia, but its neural mechanisms remain elusive. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), this study examined functional brain networks associated with handwriting in a copying task in Chinese children with DD (n = 17) and age-matched children (n = 36). We found that dyslexics showed reduced network connectivity between the sensory-motor network (SMN) and the visual network (VN), and between the default mode network (DMN) and the ventral attention network (VAN) during handwriting, but not during drawing geometric figures. Moreover, the connectivity strength of the networks showing group differences was correlated with handwriting speed, reading and working memory, suggesting that the handwriting deficit in DD is linked with disruption of a large-scale brain network supporting motoric, linguistic and executive control processes. Taken together, this study demonstrates the alternations of functional brain networks that underly the handwriting deficit in Chinese dyslexia, providing a new clue for the neural basis of DD.
... An overwhelming number of studies have investigated cerebral language lateralization using overt or covert oral language production or language comprehension tasks (e.g., Groen et al., 2012;Papadatou-Pastou et al., 2017;Petit et al., 2020). On the contrary, very few studies have investigated the cerebral lateralization of written language (e.g., Kondyli et al., 2017) or the neural underpinnings of writing in general (e.g., Bartoň et al., 2020;Planton et al., 2013;Rapp & Purcell, 2019;Vinci-Booher et al., 2019), although writing is starting to receive research attention (e.g., Palmis et al., 2017Palmis et al., , 2021Planton et al., 2019;Yang et al., 2019). Importantly, only a handful of studies have investigated cerebral laterality for writing comparing left-and right-handers (Kondyli et al., 2017;Siebner et al., 2002;Zaman et al., 2002). ...
... While lesion studies continue to contribute to our understanding of the neural underpinnings of writing (e.g., Tao & Rapp, 2019), in the last two decades, neuroimaging (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging [fMRI] and Positron Emission Tomography [PET]) studies have investigated the neural substrates of writing in the healthy human brain. A meta-analysis of 18 fMRI and PET studies (Planton et al., 2013) suggested that the core network of writing consists of a wide network of both cortical and subcortical cerebral regions, comprising of primarily writingspecific areas (left superior frontal sulcus/middle frontal gyrus area, left intraparietal sulcus/superior parietal area and right cerebellum), non-specific motor areas (primary motor and sensorimotor cortex, supplementary motor area, thalamus and putamen) and areas related to linguistic processes (ventral premotor cortex and posterior/ inferior temporal cortex). ...
Article
The cerebral lateralization of written language has received very limited research attention in comparison to the wealth of studies on the cerebral lateralization of oral language. The purpose of the present study was to further our understanding of written language lateralization, by elucidating the relative contribution of language and motor functions. We compared written word generation with a task that has equivalent visuomotor demands but does not include language: the repeated drawing of symbols. We assessed cerebral laterality using functional transcranial Doppler ultrasound (fTCD), a non‐invasive, perfusion‐sensitive neuroimaging technique in 23 left‐ and 31 right‐handed participants. Findings suggest that the linguistic aspect of written word generation recruited more left‐hemispheric areas during writing, in right‐handers compared to left‐handers. This difference could be explained by greater variability in cerebral laterality patterns within left‐handers or the possibility that the areas subserving language in left‐handers are broader than in right‐handers. Another explanation is that the attentional demands of the more novel symbol copying task (compared to writing) contributed more right‐hemispheric activation in right‐handers, but this could not be captured in left‐handers due to ceiling effects. Future work could investigate such attentional demands using both simple and complex stimuli in the copying condition.
... The graphemic buffer, a working memory storage, then temporarily maintains this sequence during the execution of peripheral processes (Caramazza et al., 1987). These latter processes handle the conversion of the abstract letter strings into detailed motor information that is propagated down the motor system (Planton et al., 2013;Purcell et al., 2011). ...
... There is not yet a proper model of the inter-relationship between central and peripheral processes which takes into account different production modalities. Central and peripheral processes have often been treated as separate and unconnected stages, starting from neuropsychological studies (for a review, see Planton et al., 2013;Purcell et al., 2011). Similarly, handwriting and typing have usually been investigated independently and from different viewpoints, with a focus on psycholinguistics for handwriting and on executive planning for typing (Pinet et al., 2016). ...
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This study aims to investigate the interaction between linguistic and peripheral-motor processes in written production. Past research has focused on this topic by analyzing how handwriting and, more recently, typing execution were influenced by lexical and sublexical variables. We take a step further in this study by directly comparing handwriting and typing, examining if different motor executions allow for different flows of linguistic processing. Participants typed and handwrote a set of Italian stimuli in which we manipulated lexicality (words vs pseudowords), orthographic complexity (stimuli with vs without multi-letter graphemes), and length (short vs long stimuli). We measured and analyzed latency (RTs), the difference between RTs and the acoustic duration of the stimuli (RT–AD), mean length of interletter intervals (ILIs), and whole response duration (WRD). We further explored the effects of the position of the orthographic complexity on RTs, RT–AD, ILIs, and WRD. Results suggested a cascaded, continuous processing flow for handwriting and a mixed mechanism involving both serial and parallel modes of processing for typing. The differences in linguistic processing during handwriting and typing suggest different mechanisms in segmenting, maintaining, and retrieving the orthographic representation during motor execution.
... Neuroimaging studies have typically employed subvocal (i.e., covert) naming or reading as linguistic control tasks to identify central orthographic and graphomotor mechanisms (e.g., Baldo et al., 2018;Palmis et al., 2019;Planton et al., 2013Planton et al., , 2017aPottgieser et al., 2015;Vinci-Booher, Cheng & James, 2019). A network of cortical and subcortical regions has been consistently reported across fMRI studies, some of which have been characterised as specific to writing. ...
... A network of cortical and subcortical regions has been consistently reported across fMRI studies, some of which have been characterised as specific to writing. These include the posterior portion of the left superior frontal sulcus (pSFS), the superior parietal lobule (SPL) and IPS, dorsal IFG/vPrG, ventral occipitotemporal cortex (vOTC; including fusiform gyrus), striatum, thalamus and right cerebellum (Planton et al., 2013). ...
Preprint
This is a chapter to appear in a forthcoming book on Cognitive Processes of Language Production. For over 150 years, most of our knowledge about the neural organisation of language production has been informed by aphasiology. However, neuroimaging and brain stimulation (i.e., neuromodulation) technologies have contributed considerably to our understanding in recent decades and are increasingly being applied in combination. In addition to contributing to our knowledge about neural mechanisms, these studies have caused us to reconsider the cognitive representations and processes involved, leading to the construction of neurobiologically-informed models of production. This chapter begins with a review of the findings that have contributed significantly to our understanding of the brain’s capacity for spoken, written and signed production. Next, mechanisms of monitoring and cognitive control during production are reviewed. This is followed by an overview of the anatomical connectivity supporting the production system, i.e., its connectome.
... In the context of lvPPA, treatment may logically be directed toward strengthening weakened phonological processes associated with temporoparietal atrophy. With this in mind, anodal stimulation to frontal components of the dorsal articulatory/phonological network is well justified as neuroimaging studies have demonstrated activation in this region during reading and spelling (Beeson et al., 2003;Purcell et al., 2011;Planton et al., 2013) and sublexical phonological tasks (Burton et al., 2000;DeMarco et al., 2018). Consistent with this logic, Tsapkini et al. (2014) demonstrated positive effects of anodal stimulation to left inferior frontal lobe paired with retraining of sound-letter correspondences in a mixed group of individuals with PPA. ...
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Phonological impairment contributes to deficits in repetition and spoken naming in logopenic variant Primary Progressive Aphasia (lvPPA), but weakened phonology can also affect written language skills. In this experimental case report, we demonstrate phonological text agraphia in a 71-year-old woman in the early stages of lvPPA that undermined her ability to write meaningful, grammatical sentences. We investigated the therapeutic value of a rigorous treatment protocol to strengthen phonological manipulation skills coupled with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Intervention took place 5 days a week for 2 weeks with active tDCS, followed by a 2-month rest period, and then a second period of phonological treatment with sham tDCS. Over the course of treatment, our participant demonstrated improved phonological transcoding and manipulation skills as well as marked improvement in the proportion of grammatically well-formed, meaningful written narratives. Improvements in spelling and letter selection were also observed. Treatment gains were documented during phonological intervention in both active tDCS and sham treatment phases and were maintained 2 months after the conclusion of intervention. Importantly, improvements were observed in the context of a progressive disorder. These data present compelling evidence regarding the impairment-based approach that targets compromised phonological skills, presenting opportunity for improving functional written communication skills relevant to the everyday lives of individuals with lvPPA.
... Within the large cortical network for reading, another area that stands out is Exner's Area. First postulated as a neuroanatomical 'writing centre' by Exner (Exner 1881), the posterior part of the middle frontal gyrus (MFG), also known as 'Exner's Area', is one of the regions involved in the writing process that is highlighted in the literature (Anderson et al. 1990;Exner 1881;Lubrano et al. 2004;Planton et al. 2013;Roux et al. 2009). Despite significant advancements in neuroimaging techniques, few studies describe patients with isolated lesions in 'Exner's Area' or look at the underlying white matter connections involved in reading and writing processes. ...
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Cognitive functional neuroimaging has been around for over 30 years and has shed light on the brain areas relevant for reading. However, new methodological developments enable mapping the interaction between functional imaging and the underlying white matter networks. In this study, we used such a novel method, called the disconnectome, to decode the reading circuitry in the brain. We used the resulting disconnection patterns to predict a typical lesion that would lead to reading deficits after brain damage. Our results suggest that white matter connections critical for reading include fronto-parietal U-shaped fibres and the vertical occipital fasciculus (VOF). The lesion most predictive of a reading deficit would impinge on the left temporal, occipital, and inferior parietal gyri. This novel framework can systematically be applied to bridge the gap between the neuropathology of language and cognitive neuroscience.
... There is a consensus that the temporal lobes are involved in representing various types of information critical for language processing: (1) the lateral superior temporal lobes (particularly on the left) are involved in speech processing, that is, in mapping low-level acoustic sounds to phonological representations (e.g., phonetic features, syllables, spoken word representations) (Turkeltaub and Coslett, 2010;Price, 2012;Yi et al., 2019), (2) bilateral middle and inferior temporal lobes are involved in representing semantic information (Patterson et al., 2007;Binder et al., 2009;Binder and Desai, 2011), and (3) a left inferior temporal/occipital region (i.e., the visual word form area (VWFA)) is involved in representing orthographic representations for words (Cohen et al., 2002;Tsapkini and Rapp, 2010;Planton et al., 2013). However, whether these same neural substrates serve to temporarily maintain these phonological, semantic, or orthographic representations in working memory (WM) is under debate. ...
Chapter
There is a consensus that the temporal lobes are involved in representing various types of information critical for language processing, including phonological (i.e., speech sound), semantic (meaning), and orthographic (spelling) representations. An important question is whether the same regions that represent our long-term knowledge of phonology, semantics, and orthography are used to support the maintenance of these types of information in working memory (WM) (for instance, maintaining semantic information during sentence comprehension), or whether regions outside the temporal lobes provide the neural basis for WM maintenance in these domains. This review focuses on the issue of whether temporal lobe regions support WM for phonological information, with a brief discussion of related findings in the semantic and orthographic domains. Across all three domains, evidence from lesion-symptom mapping and functional neuroimaging indicates that parietal or frontal regions are critical for supporting WM, with different regions supporting WM in the three domains. The distinct regions in different domains argue against these regions as playing a general attentional role. The findings imply an interaction between the temporal lobe regions housing the long-term memory representations in these domains and the frontal and parietal regions needed to maintain these representations over time.
... This region was named the "graphemic/motor frontal area" (GMFA) [30] and its Talairach coordinates (x, y, z: -26, -6, 42) were very close to those of the case described here (x, y, z:-19, 1, 52) and to another case (x, y, z: -23, 3, 61) we tested by electrostimulation during awake surgery [39]. A meta-analysis of neuroimaging data [40] pointed out that the frontal area the most repeatedly activated during writing is located in the posterior part of F2; here again, the MNI coordinates of peak activation are very close to those of our patient (x, y, z: -22, 8, 54). Planton and al. [36] regarded the GMFA as an interface between abstract orthographic representations of words (sequences of graphemes) and motor programs enabling the transcoding of graphemes into allographic letter strings -in other words an interface between abstract orthographic representations and the generation of motor commands. ...
... De modo similar, Roux e colaboradores (2013) é também ativado durante a escrita de palavras, muito embora não pareça desempenhar um papel relevante no processo motor da escrita. Esta área encontra-se particularmente associada à representação visual das palavras que se encontra na memória ortográfica de longo-prazo, sendo assim relevante para a precisão leitora e ortográfica (Palmis et al., 2017;Planton et al., 2013;Shaywitz et al., 2006). Nos estudos com pacientes com lesão cerebral, os sintomas de disgrafia têm sido igualmente associados às estruturas neuroanatómicas anteriormente referidas como responsáveis pelo controlo periférico da escrita (Palmis et al., 2017;Roux et al., 2009;van Hoorn et al., 2013). ...
Book
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O que é que as ciências sabem sobre o ensino e a aprendizagem da leitura e da escrita em português? Esta foi a pergunta que os editores do manual Ensino da Leitura e da Escrita Baseado em Evidências, colocaram a mais de duas dezenas de investigadores conceituados e cujas respostas deram origem, na sua primeira edição a 23 capítulos. Esses capítulos estão organizados em quatro partes. A Parte A sintetiza as noções fundamentais sobre a alfabetização que um professor alfabetizador moderno deve conhecer. A Parte B foca a literacia emergente, isto é, aquilo que as crianças podem descobrir sobre a escrita e a leitura antes de chegarem à escola. A Parte C foca a aprendizagem e o ensino explicito da leitura e da escrita. A Parte D discute as dificuldades e as perturbações na aprendizagem da leitura e da escrita. No seu conjunto acreditamos que este Manual pode ser uma fonte importante de atualização científica para os professores que ensinam a ler e a escrever, os professores do 1.º ciclo, e para quem prepara essa aprendizagem, os educadores de infância. Consideramos que é também um manual apropriado para estudantes do Ensino Superior, futuros professores, porque os coloca em contacto com um conjunto de descobertas científicas e conhecimento importantes para uma prática pedagógica fundamentada; destaca a relevância do conhecimento empírico e da sua permanente atualização e, através das sugestões pedagógicas e propostas de atividades, faz a ponte para o dia a dia na sala de aula.
... De modo similar, Roux e colaboradores (2013) é também ativado durante a escrita de palavras, muito embora não pareça desempenhar um papel relevante no processo motor da escrita. Esta área encontra-se particularmente associada à representação visual das palavras que se encontra na memória ortográfica de longo-prazo, sendo assim relevante para a precisão leitora e ortográfica (Palmis et al., 2017;Planton et al., 2013;Shaywitz et al., 2006). Nos estudos com pacientes com lesão cerebral, os sintomas de disgrafia têm sido igualmente associados às estruturas neuroanatómicas anteriormente referidas como responsáveis pelo controlo periférico da escrita (Palmis et al., 2017;Roux et al., 2009;van Hoorn et al., 2013). ...
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Ao longo deste capítulo, abordamos conceitos centrais para a perspetiva da literacia emergente, que assenta em dois grandes vetores: a competência da criança e o papel dos contextos nas oportunidades de contacto com a linguagem escrita. Neste sentido, esta abordagem tem três enfoques principais: (1) Explicitar o processo de apropriação da linguagem escrita, pro�curando ilustrar as conceções precoces das crianças; (2) Demons�trar a importância destes conhecimentos como facilitadores das aprendizagens mais formais; e (3) Fundamentar a importância da qualidade dos contextos educativos, não só ao nível das oportu�nidades de exploração e uso da leitura e da escrita em situações reais, e com significado, como também ao nível das interações estabelecidas com os outros. Neste capítulo, salientamos ainda o papel central da intencionalidade dos profissionais de educação de infância e a importância de práticas pedagógicas ajustadas às caraterísticas e conhecimentos específicos de cada criança
... Such a processing may be assimilated to a logographic stage in which words are not recognized as a string of letters but rather as a whole visual pattern (Aghababian et al., 2001), adopting holistic [i.e., also known as global (e.g., whole word form)] processing as contrasted to local processing (e.g., letter level or sub lexical level) Moreover, lateralization of the N170 in the left hemisphere is also an electrophysiological marker for expertise in reading Chinese (Zhao et al., 2012) and Japanese (Maurer et al., 2008). Other early visual ERP indicators (such as P1 and N1) are non-linguistic (Planton et al., 2013), in contrast to the N170. Previous ERP studies have demonstrated N170 as a predictor of word reading. ...
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Learning to write involves integrating motor production and visual perception to develop orthographic representations. This study tries to test the effect of hand movement training as a pathway to neural correlates for L2 Chinese and L2 English readers. Twenty L2 Chinese and 20 L2 English (n = 20) adults participated in both behavioral and electroencephalogram (EEG) experiments. We designed six learning conditions: Hand Writing Chinese (HC), Viewing Chinese (VC), Drawing followed by Character Recognition in Chinese (DC), Hand Writing English (HE), Viewing English (VE), and Drawing followed by Word Recognition in English (DE). Behavioral and EEG results demonstrated that drawing facilitated visual word recognition in Chinese compared to viewing. The findings imply that hand movement could strengthen the neural processing and improve behavioral performance in Chinese character recognition for L2 Chinese learners and English word recognition for L2 Chinese learners. Furthermore, N170 amplitude at the drawing condition was positively correlated with N400 amplitudes. Thus, the early visual word recognition neural indicator (e.g., N170) was predictive of the late neural indicator of semantic processing (e.g., N400), suggesting that hand movement facilitates the neural correlates between early word recognition and later comprehension.
... Exner's area is one of the main writing centers of the brain, and it is also activated during reading (Pattamadilok et al., 2016). The handwriting network described by Planton et al. (2013), including the supplementary motor area (SMA), pre-SMA, and putamen, is also activated during reading (Gosse et al., 2022). These findings indicate that writing actively facilitates fluent reading (Pattamadilok et al., 2016). ...
... Neuroimaging studies investigating the neural correlates of handwriting are presented with challenges in disentangling the networks recruited specific to handwriting (motor) execution and those that engage the language systems for orthographic selection (see Planton et al., 2013); yet note the left-hemisphere network and the frontal and parietal superior areas to be crucially involved in handwriting tasks. Theoretical models of writing recognise how handwriting and spelling are intertwined and are grouped together as 'transcription skills', which are the first skills to be learned in young writers (Berninger, Amtmann 2003). ...
... Moreover, we still have very little information on the impact of flickering screens and digital mediums on the human cortex, imagination, critical thinking and on the dynamics of learning. Cursive writing involves different brain regions in a complex puzzle that remains largely an unexplored process (Planton et al., 2013;Roux et al., 2014). ...
Chapter
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Data show that, across the world, the ubiquity of technology impacts on the capacity of many children and adults to handwrite or even decipher their own handwriting. But this short note is also referring to the current trend of (and debate over) the demise of cursive handwriting. Considered by many as an obsolete reminiscence of the past in the age of technology and computers, cursive writing is left out of school curriculum in different countries in the world.
... Moreover, we still have very little information on the impact of flickering screens and digital mediums on the human cortex, imagination, critical thinking and on the dynamics of learning. Cursive writing involves different brain regions in a complex puzzle that remains largely an unexplored process (Planton et al., 2013;Roux et al., 2014). ...
Chapter
Traditional craftsmanship is one of the seven domains that represent the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Thailand (ICH) (Intangible Cultural Heritage. (2019) Available online: http://ich.culture.go.th/index.php/en, accessed 4 March 2019.).
... Moreover, we still have very little information on the impact of flickering screens and digital mediums on the human cortex, imagination, critical thinking and on the dynamics of learning. Cursive writing involves different brain regions in a complex puzzle that remains largely an unexplored process (Planton et al., 2013;Roux et al., 2014). ...
Chapter
The art of pottery has an ancient history spanning ten thousand years. The art includes many capabilities of which most people have very little knowledge; one of the capabilities is creating works in large dimensions. Several artists, especially in Denmark, are innovators of firing-sculpture, which are baked at the site of their creation and in addition create a beautiful and pleasant space in the city. In this way, the artist gets to introduce and to teach this old and effective art. Making firing-sculpture is a means of interactional communication between artist, audience and pottery.
... 11,146 While we elucidate the functional relevance of each region further in the Supplementary Material Table 3, multiple lines of previous work have suggested key roles of areas AIP, MIP and 7PC in complex processing related to arithmetic abilities, fine finger representations, left-right orientation and handwriting. 21,50,89,90,124,147 There has been great debate about the localization of damage that disrupt of all of these functions together. 2,5,6 One of the best accounts of a pure form of acquired Gerstmann's syndrome has been reported following a focal ischaemic lesion in the anterior intraparietal sulcus region, 10 which overlaps well with network location in the current results. ...
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The Gerstmann syndrome is a constellation of neurological deficits that include agraphia, acalculia, left-right discrimination and finger agnosia. Despite a growing interest in this clinical phenomenon, there remains controversy regarding the specific neuroanatomic substrates involved. Advancements in data-driven, computational modeling provides an opportunity to create a unified cortical model with greater anatomic precision based on underlying structural and functional connectivity across complex cognitive domains. A literature search was conducted for healthy task-based functional MRI and PET studies for the four cognitive domains underlying Gerstmann’s tetrad using the electronic databases PubMed, Medline, and BrainMap Sleuth (2.4). Coordinate based, meta-analytic software was utilized to gather relevant regions of interest from included studies to create an activation likelihood estimation (ALE) map for each cognitive domain. Machine-learning was used to match activated regions of the activation likelihood estimation to the corresponding parcellation from the cortical parcellation scheme previously published under the Human Connectome Project (HCP). Diffusion spectrum imaging-based tractography was performed to determine the structural connectivity between relevant parcellations in each domain on 51 healthy subjects from the Human Connectome Project database. Ultimately 102 functional MRI studies met our inclusion criteria. A frontoparietal network was found to be involved in the four cognitive domains: calculation, writing, finger gnosis, and left–right orientation. There were three parcellations in the left hemisphere where the activation likelihood estimation of at least three cognitive domains were found to be overlapping, specifically the anterior intraparietal area (AIP), area 7 postcentral (7PC) and the medial intraparietal sulcus. These parcellations surround the anteromedial portion of the intraparietal sulcus. Area 7 postcentral was found to be involved in all four domains. These regions were extensively connected in the intraparietal sulcus as well as with a number of surrounding large-scale brain networks involved in higher-order functions. We present a tractographic model of the four neural networks involved in the functions which are impaired in Gerstmann syndrome. We identified a “Gerstmann Core” of extensively connected functional regions where at least 3 of the four networks overlap. These results provide clinically actionable and precise anatomic information which may help guide clinical translation in this region, such as during resective brain surgery in or near the intraparietal sulcus, and provides an empiric basis for future study.
... s és az ember A kontroller és egyéb interfészek nyomkodása nem megfelelően fejleszti a finommotorikus mozgásokat. Kísérletekkel alátámasztható, hogy azoknál a gyerekeknél, akiknek az oktatása során elhagyták a kézzel történő írást és azt egy digitális felületre, billentyűkre cserélték, rövid időn belül logikai fejlődésbeli visszaesés tapasztalható (PLANTON et. al, 2013). 2016-ban a Finn Oktatási Minisztérium eltörölte a folyóírás oktatását az általános iskolákban és annak helyére a gépírást emelte be a tanrendbe (RUSSEL, 2015). Alapvető érvelésként a finn folyóírásban alkalmazott karakterek közötti túlzott hasonlóságok okozta elsajátítás nehézségeit hozták fel, illetve gyorsabb gondolkodást várnak a bi ...
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Absztrakt A felgyorsult technológiai fejlődés teljesen megváltoztatta tárgykultúránkat, eszközhasználati szokásainkat, olyan irányba fordította, mely közel van egy utolérhetetlen ponthoz. Olyan értékek vesznek el felgyorsult, digitalizált világunkban, melyek nélkül az nem jöhetett volna létre. Kutatásunkat azzal a céllal hoztuk létre, hogy megtaláljuk a módját ezeknek az értékeknek a megőrzésére, valamint tovább örökítésére a fenntarthatóság érdekében. Ilyen érték a kézírás is, mely kutatásunk fókuszában áll. Digitális Múlt Analóg Jövő című kutatásunk egy több lépcsős közösségi finanszírozási projekt sorozat keretén belül kívánja megfogalmazni a jövő íróeszközét. Ebben a tanulmányban kutatásunk részeredményeit ismertetjük, melyek hozzájárult az első közösségi finanszírozási projektünk sikeres végrehajtásához. Feltáró kutatásunk, valamint netnográfiai elemzésünk eredményeit alapul véve fogalmaztuk meg a kampány számára a "DPAF I." elnevezésű íróeszközünket, valamint a kampányhoz szükséges kommunikációs eszközöket. Abstract Accelerated technological development has completely changed our object culture, our usage habits, in a direction that is close to an unattainable point. Values are lost in our accelerated, digitized world without which it would not have been possible. Our research goal is find the way to preserve and to transmit values for sustainability. Such a value is handwriting, which is the focus of our research. Our research entitled Digital Past Analog Future aims to formulate the writing instrument of the future within the framework of a series of multi-stage crowd funding projects. In this study, we present the partial results of our research that contributed to the successful implementation of our first crowd funding project. Based on the results of our exploratory research and netnographic analysis, we formulated "DPAF I." for the campaign and defined the necessary communication tools for the campaign.
... s és az ember A kontroller és egyéb interfészek nyomkodása nem megfelelően fejleszti a finommotorikus mozgásokat. Kísérletekkel alátámasztható, hogy azoknál a gyerekeknél, akiknek az oktatása során elhagyták a kézzel történő írást és azt egy digitális felületre, billentyűkre cserélték, rövid időn belül logikai fejlődésbeli visszaesés tapasztalható (PLANTON et. al, 2013). 2016-ban a Finn Oktatási Minisztérium eltörölte a folyóírás oktatását az általános iskolákban és annak helyére a gépírást emelte be a tanrendbe (RUSSEL, 2015). Alapvető érvelésként a finn folyóírásban alkalmazott karakterek közötti túlzott hasonlóságok okozta elsajátítás nehézségeit hozták fel, illetve gyorsabb gondolkodást várnak a bi ...
... Given these three tasks converge on visual-orthographic processing, the left lobule VI might be responsible for this process. Other than this region, the anterior part of the right lobule VI is also involved in the orthographic processing of handwriting (Planton et al., 2013). Compared with the anterior part, the posterior part of the right lobule VI shows significant activation in visually (Booth et al., 2007;Raschle et al., 2012) and auditorily presented rhyming tasks (Meng et al., 2016;Tan et al., 2005), which suggests its association with phonological processing. ...
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Extensive studies have reported significant activation of the cerebellum in reading and reading-related tasks. However, it has remained unclear how the cerebellum contributes to reading and how reading-related regions in the cerebrum are related to those in the cerebellum. In this review, by summarizing previous literature, we observe that multiple cerebellar areas are engaged in reading and vary in their contributions to reading. Moreover, the cerebellar reading-related areas are selectively connected with the cerebral areas with the same functional specificity. Abnormalities in the cerebro-cerebellar connection are also associated with reading impairments. We thus propose the cerebro-cerebellar mapping hypothesis, which suggests that the cerebellum could have another reading-related network rather than serving as a neural hub. This network maps to and collaborates with its functionally corresponding network in the cerebrum. This framework heightens the importance of the cerebellum to reading and provides new insights into the relationship between the cerebellum, cerebrum, and reading development.
... Words have evolved into a visual motor information during the process of learning to read through copying (James, 2010;James and Atwood, 2009;James and Engelhardt, 2012;Planton et al., 2017), and perceiving words has been shown to be associated with both visual orthography and motor-related brain regions (James and Gauthier, 2006;Vinci-Booher et al., 2019). The left IFC has been found to be associated with sensory-motor processing (Omura et al., 2004;Planton et al., 2013). Visual motor processing ability is found to be more severely impaired in Chinese dyslexic children than English dyslexic children (Kalindi et al., 2015). ...
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Developmental dyslexia is a special learning disorder which is prevalent in all languages. A central question in dyslexia is whether the neural mechanism of their defects is universal or distinct in different writing systems. Using meta-analytic approach, we created meta-images using activation abnormalities in Chinese and alphabetic children with dyslexia to find convergence and divergence under different writing systems. The results revealed that dyslexic children have a universal attention-related dysfunction with hypoactivation in the left inferior frontal cortex (IFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) under different writing systems, in spite of differences of degree and spatial extent in those regions. Alphabetic dyslexic children additionally showed hypoactivation in the left occipito-temporo-parietal regions. Chinese dyslexic children showed specific hyperactivation in the right postcentral gyrus, the left rectus, and the right middle temporal gyrus. The present meta-analysis for the first time showed both shared and distinct abnormalities in children with dyslexia under Chinese and alphabetic writing systems.
... Within the large cortical network for reading, another area that stands out is Exner's Area. First postulated as a neuroanatomical 'writing centre' by Exner (Exner, 1881), the posterior part of the middle frontal gyrus (MFG), also known as 'Exner's Area' , is one of the regions involved in the writing process that is highlighted in the literature (Anderson et al., 1990;Exner, 1881;Lubrano et al., 2004;Planton et al., 2013;Roux et al., 2009). Despite significant advancements in neuroimaging techniques, few studies describe patients with isolated lesions in 'Exner's Area' or look at the underlying white matter connections involved in reading and writing processes. ...
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Cognitive functional neuroimaging has been around for over 30 years and has shed light on the brain areas relevant for reading. However, new methodological developments enable mapping the interaction between functional imaging and the underlying white matter networks. In this study, we used such a novel method, called the disconnectome, to decode the reading circuitry in the brain. We used the resulting disconnection patterns to predict the typical lesion that would lead to reading deficits after brain damage. Our results suggest that white matter connections critical for reading include fronto-parietal U-shaped fibres and the vertical occipital fasciculus (VOF). The lesion most predictive of a reading deficit would impinge on the left inferior parietal and the three temporal and occipital gyri. This novel framework can systematically be applied to bridge the gap between the neuropathology of language and cognitive neuroscience.
... It is thus unsurprising that graph and visual word recognition activates a widespread functional neural circuitry comprising not only the vOT but also the left middle and superior temporal gyri, the left supramarginal gyrus, the left inferior frontal gyrus, and the left dorsal premotor and the posterior parietal cortices. There is thus a critical interaction between visual, linguistic, and motor brain systems while reading (James & Gauthier, 2006;Martin et al., 2015;Murphy et al., 2019;Nakamura et al., 2012) and while writing (e.g., Longcamp et al., 2016;Nakamura et al., 2002;Planton et al., 2013). ...
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Handwriting (HW) training seems to boost recognition of visual graphs and learning to read more than other learning experiences. However, efects across studies appear to be variable and the underlying cognitive mechanism has been elusive. We thus conducted a meta-analysis on 50 independent experiments (with 1525 participants) to determine the magnitude of this HW beneft in visual graph recognition, while enlightening the underlying cognitive mechanism, by investigating four types of moderators: training program (type of control training, presence/absence of phonological training, and HW tasks adopted); set size and training regime (duration and frequency of session and total amount of training); granularity of visual discrimination and perceptual learning tasks; and age of participants. The beneft from HW training was moderate-to-large and signifcant (Hedge’s g = 0.58, SE = .09) and was also modulated by the type of control training (larger relative to motor, g = 0.78, than to visual control, g = 0.37), phonological training (larger when it was absent, g = 0.79, than present, g = 0.47), and granularity of visual discrimination (larger for fne-grained, g = 0.93, than coarse-grained, g = 0.19). These results seem consistent with symbolic accounts that hold that the advantage from HW training in visual graph recognition is about perceptual learning rather than the motor act. Multiple meta-regressions also revealed that training regime moderated the HW beneft. We conclude that HW training is efective to improve visual graph recognition, and hence is still relevant for literacy instruction in the present digital era.
... As revealed from a meta-analysis of extensive neuroimaging experiments, handwriting is a cognitive process that involves multiple regions of the brain (Planton et al., 2013) and correlates with reading ability (Gimenez et al., 2014). Studies of young children indicate that handwriting (versus typing) letters affects regions of the brain associated with developmental reading skills (James & Engelhardt, 2012). ...
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Often considered an enhancement to the learning experience, technology can also stifle creativity and higher levels of thinking. This study repositions students away from technology and back to the basics to stimulate engagement and higher levels of learning. It investigates the relationship between learning outcomes and the reflective journaling process in the context of an undergraduate marketing class in the United States. In addition, this study investigates a technique in which students are introduced to topics that are sensitive in nature, yet relevant to the real world. Although reflective journaling has been utilized in courses in areas such as educational psychology and social work, it has not been widely practiced in business courses such as marketing. Through the lens of Bloom’s Taxonomy, we qualitatively analyze handwritten reflective journaling assignments about loneliness and social media to determine how the process highlights higher levels of learning. The opportunity to use handwritten journals provided a unique learning experience and a hands-on approach to allow marketing students to experience learning in a new light.
... Handwriting a word involves two stages: the preparation of a verbal response following presentation of a stimulus and the motor execution of this response. Whatever the modality of the stimulus (visual, auditory, conceptual), the preparation of the handwritten response involves two levels of processing (e.g., Planton et al., 2013;Purcell et al., 2011;Roux et al., 2013). The central level brings together the cognitive processes involved in accessing abstract orthographic representations, which minimally encode the identity and order of letters. ...
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Abstract Adult studies in the fields of neurolinguistic and mental chronometry suggest that the syllable plays a functional role in handwritten word production. These studies support the hypothesis of a syllabified orthographic representation stored in the graphemic buffer. However, there remains the question of the cognitive mechanisms involved in this encoding of orthographic representations and, in particular, that of the processes related to the syllable. In the study reported here, we tested the hypothesis of an orthographic mental syllabary in long-term orthographic memory by exploring the impact of syllable frequency on handwritten latencies. Thirty participants handwrote the labels of one hundred and fifty images. Bayesian analyses indicated that the data support an absence of effect of syllable frequency. We propose an alternative hypothesis to the syllabary to account for the results in the literature. This respects the constraint of an absence of effect of syllable frequency in handwritten word production.
... In addition, studies in functional neuroimaging (fMRI) conclude to an involvement of large cortical areas at the frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital level and of the cerebellum 27,28 , and to differences in functional neuronal connections between white matter and gray matter in children with dysgraphia or dyslexia compared to typical children during a spelling judgment task 29 . The primary motor cortex, sensorimotor cortex, supplementary motor area (AMS), thalamus, and putamen would be involved in motor control, while the ventral pre-motor cortex and posterior/inferior temporal cortex would also involved in linguistic processes 30 . ...
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Handwriting disorders (HD) are considered one of the major public health problems among school-aged children worldwide with significant interference on academic performances. The current study hypothesized that HD could be partly explained by a deficit in sensory feedback processing during handwriting. To explore this hypothesis, we have analyzed the effect of vision suppression on postural-gestural and on spatial/temporal/kinematic organization of drawing during an early pre-scriptural loop task with a digital pen, under two conditions: eyes open and eyes closed. Data collected from 35 children with HD were compared to data collected from typical children (typical group) from primary schools. The HD group showed significantly poorer postural control and an improvement on the spatial/temporal/kinematic organization of drawings when they closed their eyes compared to eyes opened. While in the typical group, postural-gestural organization became significantly more mature but there was no significant influence found on spatial/temporal/kinematic parameters of the loops. Thus, handwriting disorders could be explained by both proprioceptive/kinesthetic feedback disabilities and a disruptive effect of the visual control on the quality of the pre-scriptural drawings among these children who have kinesthetic memory and visuospatial disabilities. The ability of directing the strokes would remain dependent on sensory feedbacks, themselves insufficiently efficient, which would lead to difficulties in reaching a proactive control of handwriting. This current research is a liable contribution to enhance clinical practice, useful in clinical decision-making processes for handwriting disorders remediation.
... Nevertheless, it is still unknown whether handwriting experience modulates the N170. Although there are other early ERP indicators of visual processing (e.g., P1, N1), they are non-linguistic (Planton et al., 2013;Rothe et al., 2015) and are therefore not examined in the present study. Taken together, based on the previously described studies, it is innovative to examine the N170 modulation and its laterality effect involved with the different operationalization of handwriting and drawing practices in comparison to viewing. ...
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Handwriting serves to link auditory and motor routines with visual word processing, which is a hallmark of successful reading. The current study aims to explore the effect of multisensory integration as a pathway to neural specialization for print among typical and dyslexic readers across writing systems. We identified 9–10-year-old dyslexic Chinese children ( n = 24) and their typically developing counterparts ( n = 24) on whom we conducted both behavioral and electroencephalogram (EEG) experiments. We designed four learning conditions: Handwriting Chinese (HC), Viewing Chinese (VC), Drawing followed by Character Recognition in Chinese (D-C), and Drawing followed by Word Recognition in English (D-E). In both handwriting and drawing conditions, we also designed curved vs. straight-line stimuli. Both behavioral and EEG results showed that handwriting straight line strokes facilitated visual word recognition in Chinese compared to handwriting curved lines. Handwriting conditions resulted in a lateralization of the N170 in typical readers, but not the dyslexic readers. Interestingly, drawing curved lines facilitate word recognition in English among dyslexic readers. Taken together, the results of the study suggest benefits of handwriting on the neural processing and behavioral performance in response to Chinese character recognition and curved-line drawing effects on English word recognition among dyslexic readers. But the lack of handwriting effects in dyslexic readers suggest that students who have deficits in reading may also be missing the link between multisensory integration and word recognition in the visual word form areas. The current study results have implications for maintaining handwriting practices to promote perception and motor integration for visual word form area development for normal readers and suggest that drawing practices might benefit Chinese dyslexic readers in reading English.
... In addition, we measured brain activity to understand the mechanism of action and neural activity underlying the non-dominant hand's acquisition of skill and the effect of training on the acquisition of this skill. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses [16][17][18][19][20] identified brain regions related to motor skills, which included the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), premotor cortex (PMC), and primary sensory motor (SM) cortex. These regions facilitated motor learning. ...
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Background Training a non-dominant hand is important for rehabilitating people who are required to change handedness. However, improving the dexterity in using chopsticks with a non-dominant hand through training remains unclear. This study is aimed to measure whether chopstick training improves non-dominant hand chopstick operation skills and leads to acquisition of skill levels similar to those of the dominant hand. Methods This single-blinded randomized controlled trial enrolled 34 healthy young right-handed subjects who scored >70 points on the Edinburgh Handedness Questionnaire Inventory. They were randomly allocated to training or control groups. The training group participated in a 6-week chopstick training program with the non-dominant left hand, while the control group did not. Asymmetry of chopstick operation skill, perceived psychological stress, and oxygen-hemoglobin concentration as a brain activity measure in each hemisphere were measured before and after training. Results Participants in the training group had significantly lower asymmetry than those in the control group during the post-training assessment ( F [1,30] ≥ 5.54, p ≤ 0.03, partial η 2 ≥ 0.156). Only perceived psychological stress had a significantly higher asymmetry during the post-training assessment ( t [15] = 3.81, p < 0.01). Conclusion Six weeks of chopstick training improved non-dominant chopstick operation skills, and a performance level similar to that of the dominant hand was acquired.
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Im Rahmen der Digitalisierung verliert das Schreiben mit dem Stift immer mehr an Bedeutung. In der Schule schreiben die Kinder allerdings noch immer mit der Hand und tun sich dabei zunehmend schwerer. Trotzdem sollte der Stift nicht von der Tastatur abgelöst werden. Warum das so ist und welche Chancen die technische Entwicklung bietet, erklärt Birgitta Schmeißer.
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As one of the most widely used languages in the world, Chinese language is distinct from most western languages in many properties, thus providing a unique opportunity for understanding the brain basis of human language and cognition. In recent years, non-invasive neuroimaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) blaze a new trail to comprehensively study specific neural correlates of Chinese language processing and Chinese speakers. We reviewed the application of functional MRI (fMRI) in such studies and some essential findings on brain systems in processing Chinese. Specifically, for example, the application of task fMRI and resting-state fMRI in observing the process of reading and writing the logographic characters and producing or listening to the tonal speech. Elementary cognitive neuroscience and several potential research directions around brain and Chinese language were discussed, which may be informative for future research.
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The time course of sublexical processing in written production is scarcely investigated due to transparent sound-to-spelling correspondence in most alphabetical languages. By taking advantage of the opaque orthography of Chinese, we were able to dissociatively manipulate sublexical relatedness and lexical relatedness in a picture-word interference task. The ERP technique was also used to provide a fine-grained time course of sublexical processing. Participants were asked to handwrite picture names while ignoring distractors overlain on the pictures. Distractors were phonologically related to the picture names (lexically related), phonologically related to the phonetic radicals of picture names (sublexically related), or unrelated to picture names. ERP results revealed that sublexical relatedness affected ERPs in the time window of 370–470 ms after picture onset, which was later than the early time window (200–260 ms) of the effect of lexical relatedness. We suggest that the sublexical phonological activation happens in the stages of sublexical POC procedure and/or the graphemic output buffer in written production. The relatively later time window of the sublexical effect is consistent with the later loci of the sublexical processes in the model of written production. See https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1g05U14StjBwWE
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Magnetoencephalography (MEG) measures the small magnetic fields generated by current flow in neural networks, providing a noninvasive metric of brain function. MEG is well established as a powerful neuroscientific and clinical tool. However, current instrumentation is hampered by cumbersome cryogenic field‐sensing technologies. In contrast, MEG using optically pumped magnetometers (OPM‐MEG) employs small, lightweight, noncryogenic sensors that provide data with higher sensitivity and spatial resolution, a natural scanning environment (including participant movement), and adaptability to any age. However, OPM‐MEG is new and the optimum way to design a system is unknown. Here, we construct a novel, 90‐channel triaxial OPM‐MEG system and use it to map motor function during a naturalistic handwriting task. Results show that high‐precision magnetic field control reduced background fields to ∼200 pT, enabling free participant movement. Our triaxial array offered twice the total measured signal and better interference rejection compared to a conventional (single‐axis) design. We mapped neural oscillatory activity to the sensorimotor network, demonstrating significant differences in motor network activity and connectivity for left‐handed versus right‐handed handwriting. Repeatability across scans showed that we can map electrophysiological activity with an accuracy ∼4 mm. Overall, our study introduces a novel triaxial OPM‐MEG design and confirms its potential for high‐performance functional neuroimaging. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) measures the tiny magnetic fields generated by current flow in the brain, but conventional MEG is hampered by cumbersome cryogenic field‐sensing technologies. Our wearable, 90‐channel triaxial optically‐pumped magnetometer (OPM) MEG system—in conjunction with precision magnetic field control that reduced background fields to ∼200 pT—is used here to map electrophysiological activity during handwriting to the motor cortex, with accuracy ∼4 mm.
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A disgrafia é uma dificuldade específica no domínio da caligrafia (ou escrita à mão) que afeta a legibilidade (i.e., forma, tamanho, espaçamento, alinhamento, traçado e ligação das letras) e a rapidez de escrita. Em consequência, a escrita das crianças com disgrafia é menos legível, mais lenta e difícil de decifrar, a capacidade de comunicar e de transmitir os pensamentos através de textos encontra-se diminuída, o que pode afetar a motivação pela aprendizagem, o desempenho escolar e o sucesso educativo. A escrita à mão interage de forma relativamente independente, mas complementar, com os restantes processos da escrita (ortografia, planeamento, textualização e revisão). Uma intervenção regular através de uma instrução explícita da escrita encontra-se associada a uma melhoria significativa na qualidade da caligrafia em crianças com disgrafia. Esta intervenção pode ser complementada com a aplicação de acomodações e adaptações curriculares em contexto de sala de aula.
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Single case cognitive neuropsychological investigations involve the precise characterization of cognitive impairment at the level of an individual participant. This deep data precision affords a more fine-grained understanding of the cognitive and neural underpinnings of complex tasks, and continues to provide unique insights that inform theory in cognitive neuroscience. Here, we present a single case study of an individual, F.R., who suffered a stroke that led to chronic reading and writing problems that include an impairment to the orthographic working memory system proposed to be involved in both written language production and comprehension. Individuals who have been previously reported with a similar cognitive impairment commonly have left parietal lesions. However, F.R.’s orthographic working memory deficit resulted from damage to the right cerebellum, specifically to a region that is both structurally and functionally connected to the left parietal lobe and has been identified as part of the spelling network in previous meta-analyses of writing fMRI studies. From this lesion-symptom association, we argue that orthographic working memory is subserved by a cortical-cerebellar circuit, with damage at any point in the circuit resulting in an impairment to this function. Such a conclusion is warranted by observations from this single case approach, and we argue that these observations would likely have been missed if F.R. had been included in a larger, shallower group study. In addition to elucidating our understanding of the neural basis of spelling, this case study demonstrates the value that single case neuropsychology can continue to bring to cognitive neuroscience.
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This chapter focuses on the use of standard human–computer interaction devices, such as keyboards and mice. These relate closely to movement of the hands, fingers, and forearms, and the way users operate them allows considerably more information to be acquired beyond typed texts and cursor clicks; it is possible, for instance, to identify users and to monitor their emotional states. The first section of the chapter outlines how keyboards are used to recognize emotions and identify users by applying keystroke dynamic analysis. It also explains the effects of differences in learning efficiency between using keyboards and traditional methods of recording information. The second section discusses the use of mice to identify users and recognize their emotional states. It also reflects on the psychological benefits of analysis of subjects’ movement and, in turn, their behavior.
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Abstract Background: Movement execution is impaired in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Evolving neurodegeneration leads to altered connectivity between distinct regions of the brain and altered activity at interconnected areas. How connectivity alterations influence complex movements like drawing spirals in Parkinson’s disease patients remains largely unexplored. Objective: We investigated whether deteriorations in interregional connectivity relate to impaired execution of drawing. Methods: Twenty-nine Patients and 31 age-matched healthy control participants drew spirals with both hands on a digital graphics tablet, and the regularity of drawing execution was evaluated by sample entropy. We recorded resting-state fMRI and task-related EEG, and calculated the time-resolved partial directed coherence to estimate effective connectivity for both imaging modalities to determine the extent and directionality of interregional interactions. Results: Movement performance in Parkinson’s disease patients was characterized by increased sample entropy, corresponding to enhanced irregularities in task execution. Effective connectivity between the motor cortices of both hemispheres, derived from resting-state fMRI, was significantly reduced in PD patients in comparison to controls. The connectivity strength in the nondominant to dominant hemisphere direction in both modalities was inversely correlated with irregularities during drawing, but not with the clinical state. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that interhemispheric connections are affected both at rest and during drawing movements by Parkinson’s disease. This provides novel evidence that disruptions of interhemispheric information exchange play a pivotal role for impairments of complex movement execution in Parkinson’s disease patients.
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The location and possible function of the human frontal eye-field (FEF) were evaluated by reviewing results of cerebral blood-flow (CBF) and lesion studies. A remarkable consistency was found regarding the rostro-caudal (Y: from -6 to 1 mm) and dorso-ventral (Z: from 44 to 51 mm) location of the FEF, as defined by the CBF method within a standardized stereotaxic system (the zero point for all X, Y and Z coordinates coinciding with the anterior commissure, Talairach and Tournoux [Co-planar Stereotactic Atlas of the Human Brain, Georg Thieme, Stuttgart, 1988]. In contrast, there was a marked variability along the mediolateral axis (X: from -24 to -40 mm for the left hemisphere and from 21 to 40 mm for the right hemisphere). The human FEF is thus located either in the vicinity of the precentral sulcus and/or in the depth of the caudalmost part of the superior frontal sulcus. In either case, this location challenges the commonly held view of the FEF being located in Broadmann's area 8. With regard to FEF function, the results of CBF studies failed to support a role for the FEF in the cognitive aspects of oculomotor control, such as the execution of anti-saccades. Blood-flow activation data are consistent in this respect with the results of lesion studies. It is proposed that future research on FEF function in human subjects may benefit from focusing on the visuomotor rather than the cognitive aspects of oculomotor control.
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Background: Hypotheses regarding the neural substrates of writing have been derived from the study of individuals with acquired agraphia. Functional neuroimaging offers another methodology to test these hypotheses in neurologically intact individuals. Aims: This study was designed to identify possible neural substrates for the linguistic and motor components of writing in normal English-speaking individuals. Methods & Procedures: Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used with 12 adults to examine activation associated with generative writing of words from semantic categories contrasted with writing letters of the alphabet and drawing circles. In addition, the generative writing condition was contrasted with a subvocal generative naming condition. Outcomes & Results: Semantically guided retrieval of orthographic word forms for the generative writing condition revealed activation in the left inferior and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, as well as the left posterior inferior temporal lobe (BA 37). However, no activation was detected in the left angular gyrus (BA 39). The motor components of writing were associated with activation in left fronto-parietal cortex including the region of the intraparietal sulcus, superior parietal lobule, dorsolateral and medial premotor cortex, and sensorimotor areas for the hand. Conclusions: These observations suggest an important role of the left posterior inferior temporal cortex in lexical-orthographic processing and fail to support the long-held notion that the dominant angular gyrus is the storage site for orthographic representations of familiar words. Our findings also demonstrate the involvement of left superior parietal and frontal premotor regions in translating orthographic information into appropriate hand movements.
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A fundamental issue in cognitive neuroscience is the existence of two major, sub-lexical and lexical, reading processes and their possible segregation in the left posterior perisylvian cortex. Using cortical electrostimulation mapping, we identified the cortical areas involved on reading either orthographically irregular words (lexical, "direct" process) or pronounceable pseudowords (sublexical, "indirect" process) in 14 right-handed neurosurgical patients while video-recording behavioral effects. Intraoperative neuronavigation system and Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) stereotactic coordinates were used to identify the localization of stimulation sites. Fifty-one reading interference areas were found that affected either words (14 areas), or pseudo-words (11 areas), or both (26 areas). Forty-one (80%) corresponded to the impairment of the phonological level of reading processes. Reading processes involved discrete, highly localized perisylvian cortical areas with individual variability. MNI coordinates throughout the group exhibited a clear segregation according to the tested reading route; specific pseudo-word reading interferences were concentrated in a restricted inferior and anterior subpart of the left supramarginal gyrus (barycentre x = -68.1; y = -25.9; z = 30.2; Brodmann's area 40) while specific word reading areas were located almost exclusively alongside the left superior temporal gyrus. Although half of the reading interferences found were nonspecific, the finding of specific lexical or sublexical interferences is new evidence that lexical and sublexical processes of reading could be partially supported by distinct cortical sub-regions despite their anatomical proximity. These data are in line with many brain activation studies that showed that left superior temporal and inferior parietal regions had a crucial role respectively in word and pseudoword reading and were core regions for dyslexia.
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The anatomy of language has been investigated with PET or fMRI for more than 20 years. Here I attempt to provide an overview of the brain areas associated with heard speech, speech production and reading. The conclusions of many hundreds of studies were considered, grouped according to the type of processing, and reported in the order that they were published. Many findings have been replicated time and time again leading to some consistent and undisputable conclusions. These are summarised in an anatomical model that indicates the location of the language areas and the most consistent functions that have been assigned to them. The implications for cognitive models of language processing are also considered. In particular, a distinction can be made between processes that are localized to specific structures (e.g. sensory and motor processing) and processes where specialisation arises in the distributed pattern of activation over many different areas that each participate in multiple functions. For example, phonological processing of heard speech is supported by the functional integration of auditory processing and articulation; and orthographic processing is supported by the functional integration of visual processing, articulation and semantics. Future studies will undoubtedly be able to improve the spatial precision with which functional regions can be dissociated but the greatest challenge will be to understand how different brain regions interact with one another in their attempts to comprehend and produce language.
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Eight patients with acquired agraphia were studied using the same writing tests and were compared with normal and brain-damaged controls. Four patients fulfilled the criteria for lexical agraphia and on CT scan had lesions of the posterior angular gyrus that spared the supramarginal gyrus. The other 4 fulfilled the criteria for phonological agraphia. They had lesions on CT scan that were similar to those found in previously described patients with phonological agraphia. Their lesions involved the supramarginal gyrus or insula deep to it and spared the angular gyrus. These studies support the hypothesis that there are two dissociable spelling systems and that these spelling systems are disrupted by focal lesions in separate but distinct brain regions. Further studies investigated the relationships between phonological agraphia and phonological dyslexia (alexia), and lexical agraphia and surface dyslexia (lexical alexia). The data support the hypothesis that individual systems subserve the four processes of phonological spelling, phonological reading, lexical spelling and lexical reading.
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In this article it is argued that handwriting basically is a multi-component task. This implies that the production of writing strokes is the overt manifestation of divergent cognitive, psychomotor and biophysical processes. Based upon a review of elementary psychomotor findings and theoretical issues related to the cognitive structure of the skill, a possible architecture for handwriting processes is sketched. In this handwriting model each process has a characteristic unit of processing; receives its input from the operation next higher in the hierarchy; and is responsible for a specific transformation of that information to make it appropriate as an input to the next lower process. To accommodate for processing time frictions between modules, each of them is assumed to have a provision for a transient storage of output. The parallel feature of the model involves that all processors operate concurrently, but on different features of the message.
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In an attempt to gain a better understanding of the cerebral functions represented in the angular gyrus and to spare them during surgery, the authors studied patients with brain tumors located close to the angular gyrus and mapped cortical sites by using electrostimulation. Before undergoing tumor removal, six right-handed patients (five with left and one with right hemisphere tumors) were studied using cortical mapping with the aid of calculating, writing, finger-recognition, and color-naming tasks in addition to standard reading and object-naming tasks (for a total of 36 brain mapping studies). Strict conditions of functional site validation were applied to include only those cortical sites that produced repetitive interferences in the function tested. Preoperatively, four of the patients exhibited discrete symptoms related to Gerstmann syndrome while performing very specific tasks, whereas the other two patients presented with no symptoms of the syndrome. No patient had significant language or apraxic deficits. Distinct or shared cortical sites producing interferences in calculating, finger recognition, and writing were repeatedly found in the angular gyrus. Object- or color-naming sites and reading-interference sites were also found in or close to the angular gyrus; although frequently demonstrated, these latter results were variable and unpredictable in the group of patients studied. Finger agnosia and acalculia sites were also found elsewhere, such as in the supramarginal gyrus or close to the intraparietal sulcus. Mechanisms involved in acalculia, agraphia, or finger agnosia (either complete interferences or hesitations) during stimulation were various, from an aphasia-like form (for instance, the patient did not understand the numbers or words given for calculating or writing tasks) to an apparently pure interference in the function tested (patients understood the numbers, but were unable to perform a simple addition). Symptoms of Gerstmann syndrome can be found during direct brain mapping in the angular gyrus region. In this series of patients, sites producing interferences in writing, calculating, and finger recognition were demonstrated in the angular gyrus, which may or may not have been associated with object-naming, color-naming, or reading sites.