Scripts' influence on reading processes and cognition: a preamble

Padakannaya, Prakash, Georgiou, George K., and Winskel, Heather (2022) Scripts' influence on reading processes and cognition: a preamble. Journal of Cultural Cognitive Science, 6 (2). pp. 93-96.

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The term ‘language’ generally subsumes both spoken and written forms though they are very different. Spoken language is more biological and spontaneously acquired while literacy (reading and writing) is a more a culturally evolved skill. Learning to read requires explicit, conscious instructions and practice. Spoken language is a unique feature of the human species while reading and writing is the hallmark of human civilization. The origin of language dates back to about 1.5 million years ago while writing and reading date back to about 6000 years ago - a very recent phenomenon in human history. Therefore, human brains are not hardwired for literacy. There are no dedicated neuronal structures or networks specifically evolved for reading and writing. Reading skills are achievable due to the malleability or neuroplasticity of the human brain, which has an inbuilt capacity of rewiring the existing (pre-wired) neuronal connections as a function of practice and experience. Reading, in this way, is built on the neuronal network evolved primarily for speech (Dehaene et al., 2010). It is not surprising that reading/writing is built on spoken language as by the time children are introduced to literacy skills they would have already mastered the spoken language to a large extent. Modern researches suggests that newborn infants develop initial language-related skills within hours shortly after birth (Wu, Hou, Peng, et al., 2022). Eye movement studies suggest that eye movements during text reading align with the rate of speech production (Gagl, Gregorova, Golch, et al., 2022). These recent studies support the view that reading/writing, a culturally learned and transmitted secondary linguistic skill, is grown out of spoken language roots.

Item ID: 78222
Item Type: Article (Editorial)
ISSN: 2520-1018
Copyright Information: © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2022
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2023 23:08
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5204 Cognitive and computational psychology > 520401 Cognition @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280116 Expanding knowledge in language, communication and culture @ 100%
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