Reading Activates Your Brain
Brain activation is a curious concept to most people. Working different parts of the brain activates the brain. Did you know that an active brain uses more oxygen? Reading promotes more activity in the language area of the brain. Using an instructional reading treatment with dyslexic children promoted better reading skills and an increase in brain activation.
Carnegie Mellon scientists discovered that the volume of brain white matter in the language area of the brain increased after study participants followed a six-month daily reading program. The Carnegie Mellon study proved that the brain structure can be improved by training poor readers to become better readers. In 2009, Mayo Clinic conducted a Study of Aging that offered some good news for middle-aged and senior adults. Reading a book and other cognitive activities could decrease the risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). MCI is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
If your brain was a muscle, how would you flex it? Stimulation and challenge is the answer to this riddle. Reading stimulates brain activity. Reading a variety of books and periodicals challenges the brain to think in new directions and absorb new concepts and information. Bibliotherapy is a new form of medical treatment used to treat non-emergency mental illness. In the United Kingdom (UK), bibliotherapy is a recommended treatment used by many therapists to treat patients with depression and other mood disorders. This unique therapy works by having the patient read prescribed self-help books to deal with their illness.
Children benefit from reading on many levels. Parents actively stimulate their child’s brain by sharing a reading time with them. Interactive reading time creates a shared bond between parent and child along with provoking a child’s natural curiosity about the world and environment.
Giving a child a chance to ask questions, express an interest in a particular topic, and hear new vocabulary and ideas forms a positive impression on a child that lasts a lifetime. Children with poor reading skills have a tendency to feel more anxious and sad.
Fortunately, there’s an easy remedy to promote better reading habits and stimulate your brain – get a free library card from your local public library. April 11 – 17, 2010 is National Library Week.
The American Library Association has been sponsoring National Library Week since 1958. National Library Week was developed from a concern that Americans were not reading enough and spending too much time on watching television.
Activate your brain, this week, and remember these words taken from the first National Library Week theme, “Wake up and Read."