Parent-Child Reading Increases Activation of Brain

Posted on April 27, 2015

Photo: flickr

To show whether reading to preschoolers affects brain networks that support reading skills, Dr. Hutton and his colleagues studied 19 healthy preschoolers ages 3-5 years old, 37% of whom were from low-income households. Each child's primary caregiver completed a questionnaire designed to measure cognitive stimulation in the home. The questionnaire looked at three areas: parent-child reading, including access to books, frequency of reading and variety of books read; parent-child interaction, including talking and playing; and whether parents taught specific skills such as counting and shapes.

Results showed that greater home reading exposure was strongly associated with activation of specific brain areas supporting semantic processing (deciphering meaning from language). These areas are essential for oral language and later for reading. Brain areas supporting mental imagery showed particularly strong activation, suggesting that visualization plays a key role in narrative comprehension and reading readiness, allowing children to "see" the story

According to Dr Hutton, "This becomes increasingly important as children advance from books with pictures to books without them, where they must imagine what is going on in the text,".

For more information about the study, click the link.

Category(s):Child Development

Source material from AAP News