2020-03-10 | How our brain processes writing and typing – Stefanie Jung presents results from her doctoral thesis
What happens in our brain when we write letters and numbers? Stefanie Jung from the Junior Research Group Neurocognitive Plasticity of the IWM answered this question in her defense of her doctoral thesis on March 4. In her thesis, she uses various empirical studies to present both the differences between the cognitive processes involved in writing letters and numbers and the shared writing processes.
“We found that identical brain regions are activated for the motor planning and executions of writing movements when we write numbers and letters. These regions, however, integrate the input from specific brain networks,” explained Stefanie Jung. The results provide a better understanding of impairments such as dyslexia and dyscalculia and enable the development of appropriate intervention options. The doctoral student also showed how the use of a keyboard influenced writing processes in children. When children typed on a keyboard in the experiment, their case sensitivity dropped compared to handwriting due to the additional motor component required when pressing the shift key. Linguistic processes such as the recognition of double consonants and rule knowledge remained unaffected. "In the digital age, this knowledge is essential regarding the development of orthographic and arithmetic skills," said Stefanie Jung after her successful defence.