By: Vijay GarG
The structure of our brain, chemistry, physics, nothing remains untouched by reading.
The question is how far? According to Francisco Mora, a Spanish neurologist, it depends on whether the book or whatever you are reading has aroused your interest and, more importantly, whether it has touched your feelings. What an impact.
“You can only learn what you like,” says Mora in his book, Neuroeducation, published eight years ago. This book is based on how the brain can improve the way people learn and teach.
Last year, the University Professor (Mora) published another book, Neuroeducation and Reading, focusing on the main theme of his previous successful book. In this new book, he defines the ability to read as the real revolution of humanity.
Mora shared her thoughts on brain, education and reading in an interview with BBC Mundo. We can understand their conversation mainly through these four points.
1. Reading is an artificial and recent process
“Our ability to speak was acquired by genetic mutations about two to three million years ago,” says Mora.
Since then, human beings have been born with the required neural circuitry to speak, although speaking can only be learned through interaction.
Francisco Mora is trained as a doctor and is a doctor of neuroscience.
“We are born with a brain disc on which we can record,” he writes in Neuroeducation and Reading. But if we don’t record anything, it will be empty. “
Reading, on the other hand, came into being about 6,000 years ago, when we felt the need to communicate outside of our tribe, as the reach of spoken words was limited.
Moreover, its basis is not genetic but it is educated or cultural.
Mora explains in his book, “Reading is a process that we have not inherited (in genes) so it cannot be passed on automatically to the next generation. Every human being has to learn it himself, which requires learning and remembering every time. “
He goes on to say that reading, and of course reading well or well, requires hard work, attention, memory and clear training and if you want to read more you have to spend a big part of your life in it. ‘
However, they say that ‘expensive’ and ‘diligent’ does not mean that you have to suffer a lot.
However, when Mora was four years old, he was punished by the school for his reckless use of education.
This was because Mora’s teachers did not pay attention to how a child’s brain works.
2. Learning to read early doesn’t make you smarter
According to Mora, babies are “learning machines” from the mother’s womb. Rather, “man has to learn almost everything.”
Learning to read is an important stage in a child’s development, which parents sometimes feel proud of and sometimes worry about.
He says, “When a mother realizes that her 5-year-old child is having difficulty learning to read while a 4-year-old child living in the neighborhood is reading aloud, she may ask herself – is it mine?” Is the child so clumsy? “
Neuroscience has shown that there are certain parts of the brain that need to be matured to learn to read.
This is something that can happen at the age of 3 but generally 6 or 7 years is considered the best for it.
That’s why he writes that it is recommended that formal reading training begin at age 7, “an age in which, almost certainly, all children develop the necessary learning components.” They are done and they are able to understand every emotion and meaning of learning to read. “
“Finland is considered to be at the forefront of education and it is at this age that children begin to learn to read.”
Explaining the importance of neuroeducation, Mora says that education depends on how your brain works.
Another aspect is that forcing a child to learn and read at an early age puts an unnecessary burden on them and they become upset. The haste of 3-4 years used in this case has no future significance.
Simply put, it doesn’t help you in your studies and you don’t get smarter.
According to Mora, there is a fundamental genetic component to brain maturation, but there is also a cultural component attached to the home.
Growing up with parents who read to you or read to you, “is an emotional aspect that helps a lot in learning to read.”
3. The Internet distracts
“There is no doubt that the Internet has been a successful revolution that has ushered in a ‘digital age’ and where reading is not just fast,” writes Mora in Neuroeducation and Reading. It’s done, it’s done very differently.”
However, a study has also revealed some negative aspects of how the internet affects the brains of young and adolescents.
It has been observed that the effects of the Internet can cause children to have symptoms ranging from a lack of empathy to a lack of decision-making ability.
In “NeuroEducation”, Mora explains that when we read, we have to protect our minds from unnecessary thoughts. Sometimes it is necessary to stop 99% of the thoughts and focus on only 1%.
You should also have adequate time to read.
In contrast, surfing the Internet does not require much mental concentration. You see most things on the Internet with a cursory glance.
Reading is a process like planning, in which you don’t remember anything else.
In this way, when we use the internet, where we use superficial attention, our attention is fixed while reading and stays fixed for a long time.
There are also people who talk about a new type of meditation and call it digital.
Mora admits that there is no point in remembering the date of birth of a historical figure today because Google does it faster and more accurately. Again, this does not mean that memory is confined to the classroom.
“You have to remember a lot, because your memories make you,” he says. Isn’t it better to make your point more beautiful with a few lines from a memorized poem or literature? “
“It’s a very important aspect of your personality that makes you different.” Rather, they claim that it makes you a better person.
4. Reading changes your brain (and you too)
Although our brains are not genetically designed for reading, this unique organ has the unique ability to acquire the flexibility it needs to learn this skill.
Perhaps the best example of this is that reading makes you more active in the part of the brain that is actually responsible for recognizing shapes and faces. Over time, that same part would also begin to form and recognize words
But these changes are not just in its structure.
“The teacher who teaches children has the ability to change the physique, chemical structure, and overall structure of the child’s brain,” writes Mora in Neuroeducation.
This results in the formation of new neural circuits which are then reflected in the student’s behavior.
He later explains in “Neuroeducation and Reading” that “a person changes not only on the basis of his experiences but also on the basis of what he reads.”
He goes on to say, “Reading is not just a sluggish act of reading the text of a particular book or document, it is a clever act.
Reading is the act of reconstructing what is written, if you do.
It involves “creating a circle of knowledge that includes interest, attention, learning, remembering, emotions, awareness, knowledge and change.”
How reading books changes your mind
By: Vijay GarG