Reading is a miracle, because the brain was never wired for written language. This eloquent, accessible look at reading explores how it has transformed our brains, our lives, and the world.
It took 2,000 years for written language to develop, and it takes 2,000 days for a child's brain to learn to read. During that time, the brain must literally rearrange itself in order to understand written symbols. What happens when a child has difficulty mastering these abilities?
Using down-to-earth examples and personal anecdotes, a preeminent researcher and literacy lover embarks on a lively journey through the reading brain. Drawing on her vast knowledge of neurology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and child development, she shows how the brain that read Sumerian cuneiforms on clay tablets is different from the brain that reads images on a computer screen. Just as writing reduced our need for memory, technology is reducing the need for written language-a change sure to have profound consequences for our future.
Fascinating and revelatory for anyone interested in the science of the brain, for parents of young children learning to read, and for those who want to know more about dyslexia.
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"Proust, a metaphor for reading, and the squid, an analogy for early investigations of the nervous system, are meant to tease the curious into exploring a scientific treatise on the subject of literacy. The author integrates multiple disciplines to explain the evolution of the reading brain--its development and some common variations. Narrator Kirsten Potter facilitates the scientific vocabulary, words such as "retinotopic," "logosyllabary," "disambiguate," and "metacognitive." Speaking as the author, she explains all the difficult terms as they appear, transforming the formidable into the accessible. Potter's scientific fluency makes this challenging information easier to grasp and more enticing than it would be in print. Listeners may be surprised to learn how intellectual and biological transformations take place in their brains as they listen. J.A.H. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"
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