Sign language and Chinese characters on visual-spatial memory: A literature review
SAGE Publications Inc.
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science
Long-term use of a sign language may enhance visual abilities. Deaf signers consistently outscore their hearing nonsigning counterparts on visual memory tests. In a similar vein, the long-term use of a logographic script, Chinese characters appears to boost visual memory. Both learning a sign language and mastering Chinese characters involve a relatively complex task of visual recognition and memory. This review of the literature suggests that daily use of either a sign language, one not based on sound, or Chinese characters, a script which maps language at the word level rather than at the phonemic level, may facilitate recall of visual forms.