Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy

Alphabets and the brain

There is an article in the WSJ by Robert Lee Hotz on how alphabets shape the brain.

You can read it at:  http://online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB120965705088459637.html

What I find fascinating is that children who are dyslexic in one language, say Chinese or English, may not be in another, such as Italian. 

Dyslexia is twice as prevalent in the U.S. as in Italy where the written word more closely corresponds to the spoken sound.  "Dyslexia exists only because we invented reading," said Maryanne Wolf.

"Among children raised to read and write Chinese, the demands of reading draw on parts of the brain untouched by the English alphabet, new neuroimaging studies reveal."

Every brain shaped by reading, whether it is schooled in Chinese or English text, measurably differs - in terms of patterns of energy use and brain structure - from one that has never mastered the written word, comparative brain-imaging studies show."

It will be interesting to also see how the brains of children raised from an early age with video games differ from those who have never had the experience.  Certainly, that, too, will change the brain.

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