Arnold J.W.M. Thomassen , Hans-Leo H.M Tuelings
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The paper looks into the origin and the development with age of the preference to make either clockwise or counterclockwise curves and contours in writing and drawing. Twenty-six subjects of four age groups performed four writing and drawing tasks. Two of these were writing single symbols and accurately copying patterns; the other two were free scribbling and drawing repeated circles at a high rate. The developing directional preferences that were observed between four years of age and adulthood suggest that two semi-independent motor systems are involved in writing: one, more primitive, for rapid non-figurative tasks evolving from flexion-first to extension-first; the other, which occurs later but more rapidly under a higher degree of cognitive control, for precision and symbolic functions, favoring counterclockwise curves, irrespective of the writing hand.