Changes in reading habits ielts reading | Changes in reading habits ielts reading
What are the implications of the way we read today?
Look around on your next plane trip. The iPad is the new pacifier for babies and toddlers. Younger
school-aged children read stories on smartphones; older kids don’t read at all, but hunch over video
games. Parents and other passengers read on tablets or skim a flotilla of email and news feeds.
Unbeknown to most of us, an invisible, game-changing transformation links everyone in this picture: the
neuronal circuit that underlies the brain’s ability to read is subtly, rapidly changing and this has
implications for everyone from the pre-reading toddler to the expert adult.
As work in neurosciences indicates, the acquisition of literacy necessitated a new circuit in our species’
brain more than 6,000 years ago. That circuit evolved from a very simple mechanism for decoding basic
information, like the number of goats in one’s herd, to the present, highly elaborated reading brain. My
research depicts how the present reading brain enables the development of some of our most important
intellectual and affective processes: internalized knowledge, analogical reasoning, and inference;
perspective-taking and empathy; critical analysis and the generation of insight. Research surfacing in
many parts of the world now cautions that each of these essential ‘deep reading’ processes may be under
threat as we move into digital-based modes of reading.
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