If you put a group of preschoolers in a room and read them a story, do they all hear the same thing?
In a recent study, researchers attached brain scanners to children and then watched what happened as they listened to recorded stories. Separately, they asked the kids’ parents, “How often do you read to your child?”
Children whose parents reported more reading at home showed significantly heightened brain activity in one region: the parietal-temporal-occipital association cortex.
Put simply, reading aloud to young children stimulates and strengthens the part of the brain associated with visual imagery, story comprehension and word meaning. These preschoolers may have heard the same words, but—depending on their home experiences—their brains processed the information differently.