How Touch Typing Helps Your Brain to Develop?

How To Turn Your Computer Keyboard into A Music Instrument?

With the growing technological age, we are in continuous contact with either cell phones, laptops, or other computerized devices almost all the time. Therefore, most of the time is lost in consuming digitized writings. Reading articles on the internet, creating them has become a habit for all of us.

When it comes to creating content for the internet, typing has an inevitable role to play. Typists rely on their typing skills to produce a livelihood for themselves and the feeling of accomplishment if writing online is their hobby.

Typists have come over a long distance by exploring their skills, evolving them, and furnishing them from time to time to make their place in this competitive world. While touch typing has helped them nurture and aid their productivity in the field of typing/content writing.

Now, let's get into knowing touch typing more.

Writing and touch typing

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Defining touch typing, Touch typing is a style of typing, where the typist relies on its muscle memory of fingers and types skilfully without looking into the keys of the keyboard for typing.

Touch typing is a motor skill rather than a perceptual knowledge. While writing is both sensory and motor skill.

Writing by hand involves elementary training (right from a very young age while learning a new language and understanding vocabulary). However, it is not a case in touch typing. In touch typing, you need to have mastered a language to apply your typing knowledge and convert it into a skill. Also, a period of 2-3 months is sufficient to learn touch typing.

Writing is a game of single hand. That is, either left or right. We rarely find a writer using both hands. While touch typing involves the usage of both hands.

Two different types of movements occur while writing and touch typing. Writing is more like that of drawing, concerned more about the shape of the letter, and accordingly, hand movements occur. In touch typing, kinaesthetic movement occurs. i.e., movement of fingers is based on the proprioceptor’s (receptors of touch) memory, to type a word.

It has also been observed that touch typing is even faster than handwriting. So why not to be smart and save time at the same time, be more productive!

Practice touch typing to enhance sensory-motor knowledge

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Learning touch typing is like training your muscles to remember the positions of the keys of the keyboard. So that, you can blindfold type the words and that too with a great pace, that there’s no longer a need to watch over the keyboard searching for the letters that you are typing.

An average individual (42 years of age to take as an average age), takes about 1.5 – 2 months to learn touch typing, but having a hand over the language is a prerequisite in such a case. By this, you can estimate that it involves learning, memorizing, practicing, and training to inculcate the touch-typing skill. Hence, to conclude, touch typing demands sensory knowledge to memorize and learn the skill. Also, touch typing demands the motor skill to apply and practice typing.

Indifferent to writing, where the writing process is governed by only half of the cerebrum, (left in case of right-handed & right hemisphere in case of a left-handed person); touch typing process involves usage of four hemispheres at once! (That is, left and right hemispheres of both cerebrum and cerebellum).

The cerebrum is a centre for learning, acquiring knowledge, broadly speaking, it acquires all the sensory skills. Further, the cerebellum is responsible for maintaining balance, acquiring motor skills.

Thus, after studying the mechanism of touch typing in the brain, we can say that touch typing involves the combined effect of both cerebrum and cerebellum, which is both sensory and motor in function. And hence the ones wishing to improve their sensory and motor skills shall practice touch typing more extensively.

If you wish to learn touch typing, follow the below-mentioned steps:

  1. Sit straight, keeping back straight and elbow at right-angled to keyboard, keep your hands on keyboard.
  2. Rest your 8 fingers (4 left& and 4 right on home keys, while the thumb rests on the space bar.
  3. Home keys are A, S, D, F, (Left-hand fingers) J, K, L, (Right-hand fingers). Following keys are governed by following fingers-
  4. 5, R, F, V, 6, T, G, B =left Index finger
  5. 7, Y, H, N, U, J, M = Right index finger
  6. 4, E, D, C = Left middle finger
  7. 8, I, K, < = right middle finger
  8. 8. 3, W, S, X = Left ring finger
  9. 9. 9, O, L, = Right ring finger
  10. 10. 1,2, Q, A, Z, = Left little finger
  11. 11. 0, p, /, -, =, [,],’ = Right little finger
  12. 12. `, Tab, Caps’ =, other keys = Thumb

Here’s a reference image for ease:

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Once, you get a hand on keys, now start typing by just movements and recalling letters(keys) by fingers.

Don’t rush for speed at first, look out for accuracy, you’ll get pace after some amount of practice, with the help of muscle memory itself.

Practice extensively for 2 months regularly, and you will be trained!

Touch typing enables muscle - memory training

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Memory is gained by consistent repetitions, recalling and practicing the same thing over and over for a specific period until it becomes perfect. Similarly, muscle memory is a type of procedural memory that is gained by learning and acting on skills for a long period until it gets involuntary or unconscious action for us.

Such kind of muscle memory can be inculcated by repeated practice of 20-30 minutes daily for 2-3 months and you will be trained in touch typing.

Once learned, such a type of muscle memory is nearly impossible to lose. Just as a learning cycle or learned knitting activities cannot be forgotten easily because it’s in the muscles.

Learning a new skill always restores connections in the brain and helps the brain to do cognitive functions more. Thus, learning touch typing will surely activate your brain to function youthfully and will help in cases of brain deformity diseases.

Cursive writing with touch typing may optimize brain matters to enhance brain functions

Cursive writing is more like that of drawing and involves drawing shapes and curves, this then activates the sensory as well as the motor part of the brain largely the central and parietal lobes of cerebral hemispheres.

Thus, getting into the wirings of almost every part of the brain. These lobes are associated with memories, performing skills, etc; these actions are processed in these parts of the brain including the cerebellum which controls stability and balancing. From here, the signals are travelled through the spinal cord and the motor area is activated to perform the work.

From the following mechanism, we can picturise that almost all of the brain is involved in a small process like writing. It has been proved through EEG studies that brain activities are enhanced while performing such skilled work, the brain emits theta waves which indicate profuse activity and excitation of neurons conducting signals all over the nervous system.

A similar mechanism is followed in the case of touch typing. In touch typing, along with the nervous connections, hormones additionally come into play. While touch typing, once we reach the completion of a sentence or an article, dopamine is released (it is a happiness hormone, it gives a sense of accomplishment).

In such a case combined action of the brain and hormonal system is observed, which motivates the brain to work more extensively and increase productivity.

Hence, we can infer, that continuous practice of both touch typing and cursive writing can enhance brain functions at a greater level. These days, schools have incorporated a combined use of digital writing to make children grow faster and smarter.

Metacognitive perspective

Metacognition is a process of thinking over one’s thinking. This includes self-analysis, planning about learning a skill, etc. cognition is first learning what you are learning or acting. In touch typing or handwriting which may involve note-taking or typing, the typist thinks over the action and then performs it.

Going into more nano level, metacognition while touch typing involves thinking about typing a letter, acting on it without using the sense of sight, and finishing it.

Researches have proved that metacognitive viewing of one’s work improves brain functioning and helps us to perform much better. Also, metacognition obliges the brain to think about our own mistakes, analyze them, and compels us to perform better and improve ourselves in our work.

Comparing writing with touch typing in a metacognitive way, writing is a one-hand work, while touch typing is a bimanual one.

Further, while writing, thoughts are transcripted unto words by drawing shapes and involving motor functions more. In the case of touch typing, the thoughts are just typed by the involvement of fewer muscles, as it involves the mere pressing of keys and not drawing the shape of letters and punctuations.

Thus, a lot of time is saved at the same time, motor actions are also preserved. Time for cognition is less for touch typing as compared to writing, which is necessary for neural development.