Motor expertise for typing impacts lexical decision performance

  • Cerni Tania
  • Velay Jean-Luc
  • Alario F.-Xavier
  • Vaugoyeau Marianne
  • Longcamp Marieke


The shift of writing habits in the general population calls for a better understanding of the possible consequences of typing practice on language processing. To address this issue, we have built a set of words and pseudowords differing by their ratio of bimanual transitions between letters, an index of typing difficulty. An effect of typing difficulty was observed in expert participants who were actually typing the items, and not in non-expert typists. We then tested whether word recognition performance, measured with the task of lexical decision, was impacted by typing expertise and the typing difficulty of words. Lexical decision latencies varied as a function of typing motor difficulty. The effect was mostly driven by lexical decision times for pseudowords. This constitutes a first suggestion that motor representations built during the acquisition and practice of the typing skill have a collateral effect on visual recognition processes leading to lexical decision. Suggested Reviewers: