Reading and the Mind

I am always interested in the science behind brain function and learning. Thanks to Stephen Downes leading me to this new study and to Helge for posting it.  Scientists studied brain function while reading and found the process in the brain while reading remarkably similar to the brain while actually experiencing similar events.  Readers create mental simulations of events while reading.  I wonder if the effect is the same for effective readers as for ineffective readers.  I expect studies would show a remarkable difference in the brain patterns of ineffective readers versus those of effective readers.  This I think makes the task of teachers at once more clear and clearly more amazing.  We are teaching students to make complex mental simulations while they read.  Not just teaching them to decode the words and understand the syntax but create the pictures,the sound and the emotional context of their reading.

I wonder what kinds of reading materials were read, what background knowledge the readers had, how they compared the mental functioning.  I have many wonders.  Very interesting study because of its answers and because of the many questions it raises.

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2 Comments

Filed under education, learning, reading, research

2 responses to “Reading and the Mind

  1. Excellent questions about brain activity for the engaged and challenged reader. For students who struggle with reading, without teachers helping them with engaging background knowledge, visualization, inference etc. the brain function must be noticeably different. Good teachers fire up neurons.

  2. I like that, “Good teachers fire up neurons”. Exactly so.

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