Q.1. How does our brain work when we are reading?
Ans. While we are reading, a complex process beyond our imagination takes place in our brain.
Initially, there must be a match in the brain from letters to sound. D[d]+i[I]+g[g] is 'dig[dIg]'. Moreover, understanding correspondence between a letter and a sound is never equal to a book reading. It is extremely important to have good knowledge and understanding of the combination of letters. When you are pronouncing or reading the word 'dig', processing and analyzing the meaning of the letters is very important as it marks the completion of the reading process.
Our brains create a network at brain areas and process the information consumed by us and this is done so that we could perform an exchange between letters and sound systems to complete the meaning of those that we read.
If we fail to apply the correspondence between the sound and letter, dyslexia takes place which is termed as 'learning disorder'. In some cases, even if the application of correspondence takes place, but still if problems are encountered in reading when the meanings of words and sentences are not properly organized or structured in the brain.
Q.2. Point out the difference between reading with the eyes only and reading aloud?
Ans. Reading aloud is something where books are read by the production of audible sounds to others. The importance of 'reading aloud' cannot be explained enough with its benefits. According to a result of a study performed or conducted by a psychology department that was published in the journal named 'Memory' in 2018 states that "reading aloud is highly beneficial as it helps you to memorize words or sentences more effectively."
It is believed that people remember better when they read aloud the words or sentences present on the screens rather than when we only see them or listen to them with the help of our eyes and ears respectively.
Children and adults often dislike reading aloud because they find it tiring easily. In such conditions, we can feel similar effects of reading aloud if we do reading aloud in our minds rather than just simply skimming the content.
If children are reading a book with their eyes, the comprehension level can change with students depending on if they are skimming the contents or reading aloud in their minds.
Q.3. Audiobooks are gaining massive popularity these days. What is the difference in the working of the brain when an audiobook is listened to or when a book is read?
Ans. In the contents of an audiobook, auditory stimuli are present, which enters our brain and the first response is received from the auditory cortex which is located near the ear. In the case of printed content, which is also known as visual stimuli enters the eyes it goes through the optic nerve due to which letters are first processed in the visual cortex. The responses received from both areas are different, because in both cases there is a difference in the entry of stimuli.
So, does this mean that there is a difference in the process when an audiobook is listened to and reading a book visually? If we see in terms of the type of stimuli, the brain area always responds first, and for both cases, the area that processes the meanings is shared irrespective of the stimuli type. A research team was formed in 2019 by the department of psychology in partnership and association with the computer department of the University of Berkley in the U.S. In this research scanning of the brain and the analysis of data was carried out to have a clear understanding of the differences of the responses in the areas where the processes are different in the presentation of a story takes place in an audio format and a printed format. When the results were out, it came with a conclusion that in both audio and visual presentation the story was carried out by the same areas of the brain.
Q.4. In reading, what is the most productive way to do it?
Ans. Nobody can prescribe or tell a proper or productive way of reading in terms of audiobooks, reading aloud, and reading with eyes. This is because of differences in cognitive functions, learning abilities, patience, and different tasks and goals in every child.
For fast memorization, reading aloud is considered a better option. But it is almost impossible for a child to read a book aloud for a long time because they will lose their patience and attention from that particular content. For finishing the writing tasks right away for a child, reading with the eyes would be the best option as it would be unreasonable to force a child to write a report right away while reading it aloud. And forcing children to read aloud may also lose interest in reading books among children.
It would be torture for dyslexic children if they are forced to continue reading aloud and this would be because of a lack of application of correspondence of sounds and letters. Audiobooks are quite a good option for such children as they would help such children to develop the ability of processing meanings in their brains continuously which leads to the development of vocabulary in them. To select the perfect or appropriate method for the children, we must see the child and the situation first.
Q.5. Does the effectiveness of the reading change according to the type and the purpose of the book?
Ans. Method of reading determines the effectiveness of reading, not the type of the book. If the reading of books is taken by us for the improvement in creativity or skills, in both thinking and deducting, the recommendations will be always based on the methods you use about the feeling of talking with another person on how you felt after reading, presentation, and discussion on groups.
In the present age, we can easily find any information on the Internet. Browsing on the internet encyclopedia and surfing the net would be a much faster process for acquisition or gaining of knowledge rather than reading books. It is always considered better to share your opinions with friends and people around you to enlarge the thinking skills and have the insights deep. To develop high-level abilities in the brain, which includes abstract thinking and enhancement of empathy, conservation is always a better method to use.