What is it about?
Typing and handwriting are two different forms of written production as they allow different sensorimotor programming and execution of gestures. In the present study, we aimed at understanding if and how the differences in typing and handwriting gestures allow for different processing of the linguistic properties of words during the motor execution of these gestures. Basically, we verified how the linguistic properties interact with different chronometric measures collected during typing and handwriting dictation tasks. We analyzed the latency in starting to write/type a dictated word, the time intervals between consecutive letters, and the time necessary to write/type the whole dictated word. Thanks to the analysis of these measures we were able to detect patterns of acceleration or deceleration during motor execution of the two written production modalities depending on the different linguistic proprieties of words (i.e., lexicality, orthographic complexity, and length).
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Why is it important?
We have shown that the sensorimotor peculiarities of typing and handwriting result in a different processing flow of linguistic information during the execution of words. In handwriting, the processing of linguistic information occurs progressively during writing gestures alternating all the analyzed chronometric measures. In typing, linguistic processing is anticipated before movement initiation (affecting latency in starting to type) and during the time intervals between initial letters. We conclude that these differences in linguistic processing unveil modality-specific mechanisms in preparing, maintaining, and retrieving in memory the to-be-written words.
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This page is a summary of: The interaction of central and peripheral processes in typing and handwriting: A direct comparison., Journal of Experimental Psychology Human Perception & Performance, April 2022, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/xhp0001006.
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