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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 975190, 11 pages
Research Article

Cognitive-Neural Effects of Brush Writing of Chinese Characters: Cortical Excitation of Theta Rhythm

1Department of Linguistics, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
2Department of Psychology, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
3Department of Psychology, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City 24205, Taiwan
4International Society of Calligraphy Therapy, Hong Kong
5Department of Psychology, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an 710032, China

Received 4 September 2012; Revised 26 December 2012; Accepted 7 January 2013

Academic Editor: Shuang-En Chuang

Copyright © 2013 Min Xu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chinese calligraphy has been scientifically investigated within the contexts and principles of psychology, cognitive science, and the cognitive neuroscience. On the basis of vast amount of research in the last 30 years, we have developed a cybernetic theory of handwriting and calligraphy to account for the intricate interactions of several psychological dimensions involved in the dynamic act of graphic production. Central to this system of writing are the role of sensory, bio-, cognitive, and neurofeedback mechanisms for the initiation, guidance, and regulation of the writing motions vis-a-vis visual-geometric variations of Chinese characters. This experiment provided the first evidence of cortical excitation in EEG theta wave as a neural hub that integrates information coming from changes in the practitioner’s body, emotions, and cognition. In addition, it has also confirmed neurofeedback as an essential component of the cybernetic theory of handwriting and calligraphy.