A new study supports the idea that reading books as a child posivitely influences brain development. Neuroscientist Martha Farah at the University of Pennsylvania and her colleagues found that “…the level of mental stimulation a child receives in the home at age 4 predicted the thickness of two regions of the cortex in late adolescence, such that more stimulation was associated with a thinner cortex. One region, the lateral inferior temporal gyrus, is involved in complex visual skills such as word recognition.” …“As the brain develops, it produces more synapses, or neuronal connections, than are needed, she explains. Underused connections are later eliminated, and this elimination process, called synaptic pruning, is highly dependent upon experience. The findings suggest that mental stimulation in early life increases the extent to which synaptic pruning occurs in the lateral temporal lobe. Synaptic pruning reduces the volume of tissue in the cortex. This makes the cortex thinner, but it also makes information processing more efficient.”
The full article appears here: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/10/books-growing-brain/
Check it out and read a book to a child!