Researchers have found evidence that reading to children changes their brain, the Huffington Post reports. Pediatricians have found evidence via MRI scans that reading to children activates parts of their brains that deal with narrative comprehension and visual imagery. Children’s brains show more activity in those areas while they’re listening to stories read aloud.
This is an interesting story, and I’m sure the research will prove helpful. It will certainly give a scientifically-approved cachet to early-education programs, especially those that deal with reading aloud to kids. And it’s good to see some “it changes your brain!” evidence coming out for a good cause for once.
Still, it’s worth noting that, as Nick Bilton pointed out in I Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works, pretty much everything we do “changes our brains,” because that’s how brains are designed to work. Learning to read, learning to juggle, learning our way around a new place—these things all cause measurable changes in our brain, because that’s how our brain stores that kind of knowledge.
So the idea that listening to stories read aloud might also cause changes in kids’ brains is not all that surprising, on the whole. I’d be more surprised if it didn’t.