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J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2007 Mar;13(2):359-64.

The impact of reading and writing skills on a visuo-motor integration task: a comparison between illiterate and literate subjects.

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Departamento de Psicologia, Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group, Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais, Universidade do Algarve, Faro, Portugal.


Previous studies have shown a significant association between reading skills and the performance on visuo-motor tasks. In order to clarify whether reading and writing skills modulate non-linguistic domains, we investigated the performance of two literacy groups on a visuo-motor integration task with non-linguistic stimuli. Twenty-one illiterate participants and twenty matched literate controls were included in the experiment. Subjects were instructed to use the right or the left index finger to point to and touch a randomly presented target on the right or left side of a touch screen. The results showed that the literate subjects were significantly faster in detecting and touching targets on the left compared to the right side of the screen. In contrast, the presentation side did not affect the performance of the illiterate group. These results lend support to the idea that having acquired reading and writing skills, and thus a preferred left-to-right reading direction, influences visual scanning.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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