Exploring structural learning in handwriting. Johnson, R., L., Culmer, P., R., Burke, M., R., Mon-Williams, M., & Wilkie, R., M. Experimental brain research, 207(3-4):291-5, 12, 2010.
Exploring structural learning in handwriting. [link]Website  abstract   bibtex   
Structural learning suggests that the human nervous system learns general rules that can be applied when controlling actions involving similar structures (e.g. using a variety of bicycles when learning to ride). These general rules can then facilitate skill acquisition in novel but related situations (e.g. a new bicycle). We tested this concept by investigating whether learned asymmetries in handwriting (greater ease in moving the hand rightwards and downwards within Western-educated populations) are present in the non-preferred hand as predicted by structural learning. We found these asymmetries in both hands of a right-handed population when tracing abstract shapes. We then ruled out biomechanical explanations by finding the same results with a left-handed population. These findings provide support for structural learning and explain: (1) the rapidity with which individuals can learn to write with their non-preferred hand; (2) the presence of a higher abstract (effector independent) level within voluntary motor control organisation.
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 title = {Exploring structural learning in handwriting.},
 type = {article},
 year = {2010},
 identifiers = {[object Object]},
 keywords = {Adolescent,Adult,Executive Function,Executive Function: physiology,Female,Functional Laterality,Functional Laterality: physiology,Hand,Hand: physiology,Handwriting,Humans,Learning,Learning: physiology,Male,Motor Skills,Motor Skills: physiology,Muscle,Skeletal,Skeletal: innervation,Skeletal: physiology,Volition,Volition: physiology,Young Adult},
 pages = {291-5},
 volume = {207},
 websites = {http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20972778},
 month = {12},
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 abstract = {Structural learning suggests that the human nervous system learns general rules that can be applied when controlling actions involving similar structures (e.g. using a variety of bicycles when learning to ride). These general rules can then facilitate skill acquisition in novel but related situations (e.g. a new bicycle). We tested this concept by investigating whether learned asymmetries in handwriting (greater ease in moving the hand rightwards and downwards within Western-educated populations) are present in the non-preferred hand as predicted by structural learning. We found these asymmetries in both hands of a right-handed population when tracing abstract shapes. We then ruled out biomechanical explanations by finding the same results with a left-handed population. These findings provide support for structural learning and explain: (1) the rapidity with which individuals can learn to write with their non-preferred hand; (2) the presence of a higher abstract (effector independent) level within voluntary motor control organisation.},
 bibtype = {article},
 author = {Johnson, Robyn L and Culmer, Peter R and Burke, Melanie R and Mon-Williams, Mark and Wilkie, Richard M},
 journal = {Experimental brain research},
 number = {3-4}
}
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