Next time your little one begs to hear Goodnight Moon for the umpteenth time, just give in.
Her brain will thank you.
You've heard the standard "read to your baby" refrain. That it'll help her learn to talk and get ready for preschool. Now, research published in Pediatrics shows, for the first time, the quantifiable effects that parent-child reading have on a baby's brain. It turns out that preschoolers exposed to more story time at home show more activity on the left side of the brain, which supports things such as language processing and narrative comprehension.
The kids with high reading exposure at home had high brain activity on the left-sided parietal-temporal-occipital association cortex, which is part of the brain that supports semantic language processing.
In other words, there's officially scientific proof to back up what behavioral specialists have been saying for years.
For the study, the researchers collected fMRI brain scans of 3-to-5-year-olds listening to a story and asked the kids' parents about the amount of story time happening at home. The kids who were read to frequently at home had a lot of brain activity in the part of the brain that supports what is known as semantic language processing, basically how kids gain an understanding of the words and phrases they hear.