The Neuroscience of Handwriting: Applications for Forensic Document Examination

Michael P. Caligiuri, Linton A. Mohammed

February 22, 2012 by CRC Press
Reference - 267 Pages - 55 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781439871409 - CAT# K13270
Series: International Forensic Science and Investigation


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  • Presents general background on the neurobiologic fundamentals of motor control, with specific reference to handwriting
  • Discusses advances made in the quantitative approach to signature authentication
  • Includes empirical research conducted by the authors with findings that have immediate application to forensic document examination
  • Raises new questions and opens doors to the scientific process of signature and handwriting authentication


The Daubert trilogy of U.S. Supreme Court cases has established that scientific expert testimony must be based on science grounded in empirical research. As such, greater scrutiny is being placed on questioned document examination generally, and handwriting comparison in particular. Bridging the gap between theory and practice, The Neuroscience of Handwriting: Applications in Forensic Document Examination examines the essential neuroscientific principles underlying normal and pathological hand motor control and handwriting.

Topics discussed include:

  • Fundamental principles in the neuroanatomy and neurochemistry of hand motor control and their application to research in handwriting
  • The epidemiology, pathophysiology, and motor characteristics of neurogenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, essential tremor, and motor neuron disease and their effects on handwriting
  • Psychotropic medications prescribed for depression, bipolar disorder, and psychosis; their mechanisms of action; and their effect on motor behavior and handwriting
  • The impact of substance abuse on handwriting
  • An overview of the aging process and its effects on motor control and handwriting
  • The kinematic approach and new findings on the kinematic analyses of genuine, disguised, and forged signatures
  • The authors’ laboratory research on authentic and forged signatures

An essential resource for professionals and researchers in the forensic documentation examination and legal communities, this volume provides a window on the scientific process of signature and handwriting authentication, integrating the extensive research on neural processes and exploring how disease, medication, and advanced age alter these processes.