Reading Practice Can Strengthen Brain 'Highways'

Jon Hamilton, NPR, Dec 10, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This will be no surprise to anyone who thinks that people learn by forming connections between neurons: "Intensive reading programs can produce measurable changes in the structure of a child's brain, according to a study in the journal Neuron." Two thoughts: first, what does that say about the internet generation, which has been reading intently on their computer screens for the last decade? This is what we would expect given another study linking technology and writing skills. And second, why can't we encourage people to read the things they want to read, like that stuff on the internet? (Oh, and I guess a third point - can't the NPR story about this use a vocabulary slightly more elevated than 'information highways', 'white matter' and 'fibers that carry information'?)
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