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Bedtime stories boost young children's imagination
Just how important is it to read bedtime stories to your young children? Researchers from the Reading and Literary Discovery Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center recently conducted a new study to explore this very question. Using real-time MRI scans, the researchers studied children between the ages of 3 and 5 to see how their brain activity was affected while they were being read to, according to WTNH News.
Focusing on the areas associated with memory, reading and comprehension, the researchers discovered there was elevated activity in the parts of these children's brains that are related to vision and language. One interpretation of this finding is that these toddlers were able to imagine or see what was happening in the story, even though they could not read it themselves.
The research also showed that children with more active brains were read to more frequently at home, while this was not generally the case for those children of parents who did not promote home reading.
Tzipi Horowitz-Kraus, a coauthor in the study, said that reading to children at these critical young ages is ultimately beneficial to their brain development, while preparing them socially and academically to get ready for school and peer interaction. She said that it is still too soon to theorize that children who are read to at home have higher IQs than those who do not.
The researchers all did agree, however, that sitting close and reading to young children makes them feel more secure, while seeming to also promote their developing brains.