As We Suspected: Handwriting Boosts Brain Power

Admit it. You always knew inking away on your Tablet PC was sharpening your mind. Maybe you couldn’t quantify how it did, but you knew it did. Still, it’s nice to have scientific proof to back that up, and The Wall Street Journal has a round-up of just that.

From children learning the language to older adults trying not to forget it, handwriting is shown to enhance cognitive skills.


Using advanced tools such as magnetic resonance imaging, researchers are finding that writing by hand is more than just a way to communicate. The practice helps with learning letters and shapes, can improve idea composition and expression, and may aid fine motor-skill development.

The article goes on to cite studies that show children performing better when crafting essays by hand than by keyboard; adults pick up new languages, such as Mandarin, more easily by writing characters in addition to reading them; and how people suffer from the social bias against those with sloppy, illegible handwriting.

It does also mention WritePad for the iPhone, which we’ve covered a few times, and a learning app called abc PocketPhonics. No mention of the Tablet PC, of course. That’s okay. As long as you, me, and my secret army of inklings others like us are getting smarter, that’s all that matters.

Via Lifehacker