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Publication Detail
Contribution of finger tracing to the recognition of Chinese characters.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Yim-Ng YY, Varley R, Andrade J
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    561, 571
  • Journal:
    Int J Lang Commun Disord
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
  • Country:
    United States
  • Print ISSN:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Adult, Aged, Female, Fingers, Form Perception, Humans, Kinesthesis, Language Therapy, Male, Memory, Middle Aged, Proprioception, Touch
Finger tracing is a simulation of the act of writing without the use of pen and paper. It is claimed to help in the processing of Chinese characters, possibly by providing additional motor coding. In this study, blindfolded subjects were equally good at identifying Chinese characters and novel visual stimuli through passive movements made with the index finger of the preferred hand and those made with the last finger of that hand. This suggests that finger tracing provides a relatively high level of coding specific to individual characters, but non-specific to motor effectors. Beginning each stroke from the same location, i.e. removing spatial information, impaired recognition of the familiar characters and the novel nonsense figures. Passively tracing the strokes in a random sequence also impaired recognition of the characters. These results therefore suggest that the beneficial effect of finger tracing on writing or recall of Chinese characters is mediated by sequence and spatial information embedded in the motor movements, and that proprioceptive channel may play a part in mediating visuo-spatial information. Finger tracing may be a useful strategy for remediation of Chinese language impairments.
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