Every action we take changes our brain waves and creates new neural pathways: this is how we learn and gain experience. Even the games we play in an online casino like GGBet lead our brains to think in a certain way, and our behavior is affected by this. In other words, our way of thinking and even our personality is shaped by the actions we take in daily life. These actions don’t need to be important: even the simple act of writing causes changes in our brain activity, and how we do it determines the pattern of those changes. Handwriting or typing: Both of these actions affect us differently. So, what is the scope of these changes, and which of these actions are more beneficial for our brains? We answer these questions below.
Is Handwriting a Thing Anymore?
Indeed, is anybody using handwriting anymore? This question may be more important than you think: many schools in Europe have excluded handwriting from their curriculum. Students no longer take cursive handwriting classes – Norway has abandoned this practice altogether and switched to an all-digital education system. This may not be as good as it might seem, as Audrey van der Meer, an NTNU professor, thinks that a generation has grown up that doesn’t know how to write by hand. 20 years from now, when you put a pen in people’s hands, they will have no idea what to do with it. A generation that doesn’t know how to write by hand is a scary idea: the results of being so dependent on technology may not be so good.
Especially if you consider the contribution of handwriting to brain development. Many scientific studies from Canada and Europe show that handwriting is much more beneficial for personal development. We will talk about the results of these studies in detail below, but let’s talk about how they were carried out first:
- Electrodes are attached to the people participating in the research, and they are asked to write a text or draw a picture. After these are done, they write the same text using the keyboard. Finally, they are asked to repeat the same actions using a digital pen. In other words, the participants take three different actions.
- During all these actions, a high-density electroencephalogram (EEG) is used to examine which parts of their brain are working.
- Research is generally carried out on university students, but for the last 5 years, children of primary school age have been included in the scope of the research.
So, What Are the Results?
We talked about how the research was conducted, but what are the results? What do these studies tell us?
- When participants use a pen or digital pen, the parietal and central regions of their brain begin to work. Brain waves, on the other hand, are transitioning to theta range. Other scientific studies show that these regions are used for memory and processing new information. In other words, ideal conditions for learning are created.
- When using the keyboard, there is no change in brain waves, and no change is observed in the brain regions that were active before starting to type. Using a keyboard does not make a significant change in your brain and, for example, does not allow it to switch to learning mode.
Research also shows that all tasks are completed faster when the keyboard is used, and this is an expected result: as can be guessed, handwriting is a more time-consuming action. Likewise, just because the brain switches to learning mode doesn’t mean it’s something that happens quickly. Handwriting needs to be repeated over long periods of time to create new neural pathways and cause a real change in your brain. In other words, your brain switches to learning mode but training takes quite a while to complete.
Still, given that there is no change when using the keyboard, this is, of course, an advantage: if you had used cursive handwriting throughout elementary school, your brain would indeed have changed by the time you graduated. Moreover, after activating the handwriting learning mode, your brain is ready to learn everything, not just writing. In this context, for example, you can understand and remember the lesson the teacher teaches much better.
The result of the research can actually be summed up in a simple way: our brain is not interested in learning unless we challenge it. Typing using the keyboard is a simple act for our brains – it doesn’t teach us anything. But writing with our hands forces our brains to constantly study and learn new things: we have to do this to reach our full potential.
Although there are many studies showing that handwriting is much better for brain development and education, no one expects the education system to change in a short time. Canada removed handwriting from its education program almost a decade ago, and European countries, especially Norway, are adopting the same practice.