With collaborators at (and formerly at) Johns Hopkins University, we've just had a paper accepted at Cortex, entitled "Knowledge about writing influences reading: Dynamic visual information about letter production facilitates letter identification." This is a cognitive neuropsychological study of an individual we call NGN, who had difficulty identifying letters shown to him. He might look at an 'B' and call it 'R', for example. However, we found that tracing out a letter helped him to identify it more accurately. Most importantly, the type of tracing mattered- if you traced the letter in a standard way (for B: writing the vertical, then the top loop, then the bottom loop), he improved. But if you traced the letter in reverse, or the letter shape appeared over time in a random sequence, his performance did not improve. We concluded that in addition to processing static letters (like those on this page), the letter recognition system can also process dynamic input. And most critically, crosstalk between the letter production system (your knowledge of how a letter is written) and the recognition system provide a boost when the dynamic input matches your stored letter production plans.
Schubert, T., Reilhac, C., & McCloskey, M. (in press). Knowledge about writing influences reading: Dynamic visual information about letter production facilitates letter identification. Cortex. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2018.03.020