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The “newest,” state-of-the art, cutting-edge medical therapy for memory loss is an ancient practice: writing things down by hand. Across the world, doctors and therapists are prescribing “journaling” — the trendy term for keeping a handwritten diary— as a way to build a better memory or rebuild a fading one. According to research published in 2013 in the neurology journal Cortex, the complex sensorimotor feedback that is involved in any form of handwriting puts multiple areas of the brain into simultaneous action, encouraging brain cells to communicate and connect with one another. Given this, it may not be coincidental that more and more states are introducing bills to require handwriting instruction. One such bill, in Alabama, has just passed into law. (NOTE: Although the Alabama law specifies cursive, the research shows that handwriting’s benefits are not limited to any one style. As the article on the bill points out, beliefs that favor cursive over the other forms of our handwriting are just that — beliefs. People who write by hand in styles other than cursive are full participants in the benefits of handwriting.)
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