Hands in mind: learning to write with both hands improves inhibitory control, but not attention

AbstractEmbodied cognition theories predict that changing motor control would change cognitive control, as cognition is considered to emerge from an action in this theoretical approach. We tested this prediction, by examining the attention and cognitive control capabilities of a group of school students (12-13 years old) trained to write using both hands (experimental group, N=28), compared to a group of age-matched children (control group, N=33) who did not receive such training. The key tasks used were the attentional network task (ANT) and the hearts and flowers task (HF). Results from the ANT task showed that there was no significant difference in the three attentional networks between the groups. However, results from the HF task showed that the experimental group had better inhibitory control. This second result provides support to the embodied cognition prediction that cognitive control and motor control are related, and the former can be changed to some extent by changing the latter.

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