The present study investigated interactions between cognitive processes and finger actions called "kusho," meaning "air-writing" in Japanese. Kanji-culture individuals often employ kusho behavior in which they move their fingers as a substitute for a pen to write mostly done when they are trying to recall the shape of a Kanji character or the spelling of an English word. To further examine the visualization role of kusho behavior on cognitive processing, we conducted a Kanji construction task in which a stimulus (i.e., sub-parts to be constructed) was simultaneously presented. In addition, we conducted a Kanji vocabulary test to reveal the relation between the kusho benefit and vocabulary size. The experiment provided two sets of novel findings. First, executing kusho behavior improved task performance (correct responses) as long as the participants watched their finger movements while solving the task. This result supports the idea that visual feedback of kusho behavior helps cognitive processing for the task. Second, task performance was positively correlated with the vocabulary score when stimuli were presented for a relatively long time, whereas the kusho benefits and vocabulary score were not correlated regardless of stimulus-presentation time. These results imply that a longer stimulus-presentation could allow participants to utilize their lexical resources for solving the task. The current findings together support the visualization role of kusho behavior, adding experimental evidence supporting the view that there are interactions between cognition and motor behavior.
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