From birth the brain “sees” the words

Humans are born with an area of ​​the brain that is “wired” to recognize letters and words. This fact shows that from birth the ground is prepared for humans to learn to read, according to a new study by experts from Ohio State University published in the journal “Scientific Reports”. Ready before we are even exposed to the language Researchers analyzed functional MRI scans (fMRI) of the newborn brain and discovered that this area of ​​the brain called the “visual speech processing area” (VWFA) is connected to the brain language processing network. “This creates a fertile ground for developing sensitivity to visual verbal forms before we are even exposed to language,” said Zeynep Saigin, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University. But the VWFA is dedicated to reading which are letters. Some researchers have hypothesized that this area begins as part of the visual cortex which is no different from the rest in terms of recognizing faces, objects, landscapes and that it becomes selective specifically in letters and words as children learn to read or at least when they learn the language. “It simply came to our notice then. “Even immediately after birth, the VWFA region is functionally more connected to the language network of the brain than to any other region,” said Dr. Saigin, adding that “this finding is astonishing.” In their study, the researchers analyzed the MRI scans of 40 newborns – all infants less than one week old – were part of the Developing Human Connectome Project. They compared these CT scans with similar fMRIs performed on 40 adults who participated in the same study. difference between these two areas in newborns, Dr. Saigin explained. However, as the analysis of the brain tomographs showed, from the very beginning of life VWFA differs from the part of the visual cortex that recognizes faces as it shows a functional connection with the area of ​​the brain that processes the tongue. “The VWFA region is specialized in ‘seeing’ words before we are even exposed to them,” the researcher noted. The study revealed some differences in the VWFA region between newborns and adults. “Our findings show that as babies mature, VWFA becomes even more specialized. “Friction with spoken and written language probably enhances synapses with aspects of the language network and leads to further differentiation of the function of this area from that of neighboring areas,” explained the professor. The goal is a better understanding of learning disorders Dr. Saigin and Its partners are now “scanning” the brains of three- and four-year-olds to learn more about exactly how the VWFA site works before children learn to read and what visual properties it responds to. The ultimate goal is for scientists to learn how brain is transformed into a “literate” brain, according to Dr. Saigin, which will help to better understand learning disorders such as dyslexia. Follow it on Google News and be the first to know all the news See all the latest news from Greece and the world, at

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