Reading to Children Boosts Their Brains
Posted on August 20, 2015 at 11:18 am
The New York Times reports:
This month, the journal Pediatrics published a study that used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study brain activity in 3-to 5-year-old children as they listened to age-appropriate stories. The researchers found differences in brain activation according to how much the children had been read to at home.
Children whose parents reported more reading at home and more books in the home showed significantly greater activation of brain areas in a region of the left hemisphere called the parietal-temporal-occipital association cortex. This brain area is “a watershed region, all about multisensory integration, integrating sound and then visual stimulation,” said the lead author, Dr. John S. Hutton, a clinical research fellow at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
We read aloud to our children every night until they went to high school and those are among our sweetest memories and favorite family references. Instead of handing your kids an iPad, try reading to them. It is one of the best ways to strengthen connections, and, as this study shows, it nourishes their brain activity. Those of us who are lucky enough to have been read to and to have read to others did not need the study to tell us that.