By Guest Author, Allison Watkins
This past January a neuroscientist by the name of Stanislas Dehaene published a study on the extensive impact reading has on the brain. He performed his study with thirty-one Brazilian adults who’ve learned how to read from an early age, twenty-two adults who learned how to read at an adult age, and ten who’ve never learned how to read. His study was performed by using functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure brain function of adults while they responded to oral language, written language, and visual tasks. From this study a few conclusions have been made on how reading helps improve the function of the brain.
The occipital lobe is the area of the brain that processes visual information. Among the readers it was enhanced, showing that the literate readers could process visual information more accurately. Reading is a form of visual exercise. The visual stimulation of reading exercises the occipital lobe. This helps with the imagination, which will also help with creativity. The occipital lobe also has a big impact on making decisions.
The parietal lobe is the part of the brain that turns letters into words, and words into thoughts. Among the readers it was enhanced and stimulated. The parietal lobe is mainly recognized for its ability to increase writing skills. It also helps with reading comprehension. When anyone is reading, the parietal lobe becomes very active and works with the temporal lobe to store information.
This study tells us that reading impacts every aspect of a person’s life. Reading is a great exercise that helps people process information verbally and visually. Those that don’t read will struggle with processing verbal information. This explains why a slow reader will be slow in other academic areas. With the lack of verbal and visual comprehension skills, if slow readers don’t change they will have higher chances of divorce and job unemployment. Reading really improves every aspect of communication skills.
Mental stimulation will improve brain function. Reading is clearly the best way to increase mental stimulation. The best part about mental stimulation is that it will develop new neurons, no matter how old the individual is the brain can still create and develop new neurons. This is exciting news for everyone because it shows that we should really invest the rest of our lives into education. Most importantly, this shows the vital importance of teaching your child how to read if you’re a parent.