brain power

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Embrace a Dying Art Form
Writing longhand—not texting and typing—stimulates brain regions involved in thinking, language and memory. In an MRI study at the University of Indiana, children who wrote out letters ("learning by doing," not just "seeing") showed more complex neural activation patterns than those who didn't.

Try this: Use longhand, especially when learning foreign alphabets, mathematics and music (or anything else involving letters or symbols). You may recall the information faster and for longer than if you typed it, just as adult students did in a study that involved recognizing Mandarin characters. (If ballpoints are too archaic for you, use apps like Notes Plus or Antipaper Notes for handwriting on your gadget.)