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Mirror writing in 5- to 6-year-old children: The preferred hand is not the explanation

Abstract : Non-pathological, spontaneous mirror writing, whether complete or partial, has long been associated with writing with the left hand and attributed to the fact that abductive writing, which most people find easier, is from right to left when people write with their left hand. However, recent research suggests another explanation: children who do not know the orientation of the letters and digits may apply an implicit right-writing rule which causes them to invert mainly left-oriented characters (e.g., J, 3). But would left-hand writers apply such a rule? The present study examines the relationship between these two explanations of mirror writing and asks whether they coexist in children who write with their left hand. Is the abductive writing explanation specific to mirror writing by left-hand writers and the implicit right-writing rule specific to right-hand writers? A comparison of 59 children who wrote with their left hand and 59 children who wrote with their right hand (matched for age and school experience) provided clear evidence against the abductive-writing explanation and in favour of the right-writing rule for both groups. Therefore, spontaneous mirror writing in typical 5- to 6-year-olds does not seem to be a function of preferred writing hand.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 2:56:14 PM
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Jean-Paul Fischer, Anne-Marie Koch. Mirror writing in 5- to 6-year-old children: The preferred hand is not the explanation. Laterality, 2016, 21 (1), pp.34 - 49. ⟨10.1080/1357650X.2015.1066383⟩. ⟨hal-01586990⟩



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