The Reading Brain

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Our brains evolved in survivalist terms, prioritizing basic sensory functions, like sight and scent. Today, our brains are forced to process information at a higher capacity -- and must faster -- than our ancient ancestors. 

Learning to read is a complex process for the brain, explains Maryanne Wolfe, the Director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University and author of "Proust and the Squid." 

"When we learn to read, we are literally making an entirely new circuit in our brain that was never meant to be there," Wolfe explains. "Reading reflects this extraordinary, almost miraculous capacity of the brain to learn something new. So the child is, quite literally, forming an entirely new circuitry that connects language and vision and thought in a completely new way."