Reading exposure prior to kindergarten may impact how a child’s brain processes stories

On its website, Fox News reported that research presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting “is the first to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to prove reading exposure prior to kindergarten has a measurable impact on how a child’s brain processes stories.”

HealthDay reported that investigators “used MRIs to monitor the brains of 19 preschoolers, aged 3 to 5, as they listened to age-appropriate stories on headphones.”

The kids’ “parents had provided information about their interactions with their children, including how often they read to them.”

The study indicated that “being read to at home regularly was strongly linked with activation of certain brain areas involved in getting meaning from language.”

These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the “peer review” process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

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