[kids-lib] Research: Bedtime Stories for Young Brains

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Fri Aug 21 09:10:52 PDT 2015

Two new studies were recently been published, one in the journal Pediatrics<http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2015/08/05/peds.2015-0359.abstract?sid=5b1e0b71-9369-4d5e-923b-8a304e346b35> and one in Psychological Science<http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/08/04/0956797615594361?papetoc>, that provide more evidence that listening to books read aloud is important for early brain development.

Bedtime Stories for Young Brains by Perri Klass, MD (Article about the two new studies)
August 17, 2015

*         Children whose parents reported more reading at home and more books in the home showed significantly greater activation of brain areas in a region of the left hemisphere called the parietal-temporal-occipital association cortex. This brain area is "a watershed region, all about multisensory integration, integrating sound and then visual stimulation,"

*         children who were exposed to more books and home reading showed significantly more activity in the areas of the brain that process visual association, even though the child was in the scanner just listening to a story and could not see any pictures.

*         The different levels of brain activation, he said, suggest that children who have more practice in developing those visual images, as they look at picture books and listen to stories, may develop skills that will help them make images and stories out of words later on.

*         "It helps them understand what things look like, and may help them transition to books without pictures," he said. "It will help them later be better readers because they've developed that part of the brain that helps them see what is going on in the story."

*         But it turns out that reading to - and with - young children may amplify the language they hear more than just talking.

*         In comparing the language in books to the language used by parents talking to their children, the researchers found that the picture books contained more "unique word types."

*         children who are being read to by caregivers are hearing vocabulary words that kids who are not being read to are probably not hearing.

*         So reading picture books with young children may mean that they hear more words, while at the same time, their brains practice creating the images associated with those words - and with the more complex sentences and rhymes that make up even simple stories.

[Slogan Text][Cooper_laughing]
Summer Reading 2015 at Oregon libraries<http://libdir.osl.state.or.us/>!
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Katie Anderson, Youth Services Consultant
Library Support and Development Services<http://www.oregon.gov/osl/LD/pages/index.aspx>
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528

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