The Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience recently reported yet another study on early childhood brain development, conducted at UC Berkley in which one of the researchers, Professor Thomas Boyce said "Talking more to children could boost prefrontal cortex development". The study used brain scans to analyze the brains of a small sample of low SES children to compare them to high SES kids. Boyce described the findings as a "wake-up call" about the impact of language deprivation, as low SES children hear, on average, 30 million fewer words by the age of four than children of more educated and wealthier parents.
So a child growing in a quiet home will move about the world more confused and with less power than she who grows in a home rich in conversation? That is a conclusion I am not ready to draw. But if you are in contact with a small child, well, make the world a better place and talk to him.