Saturday, December 6, 2008

Language Implications

Emotions happen, thoughts patterns are chosen and the human mind is organized through language. A person "at a loss for words" is often confused or at least unsure. A right word holds power and when connected to more words creates rich language patterns leading to ever more complex prefrontal cortex pathways. Babies who are spoken to in complete sentences, lovingly and often learn to mentally digest not only a growing number of words but eventually become more capable human beings.
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.

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