Health TrendsMaternal and Child Health

Both Nature and Nurture Shape Reading Acquisition

Dyslexia, a form of reading disability, affects 5-10% of children worldwide, and cuts across different cultures and genetic backgrounds. By using MRI imaging, repeated over years, neuroscientists have shown that there are structural differences in the brains of babies who develop dyslexia later in childhood when compared to babies who do not develop dyslexia. They also showed that while the pre-reading structure of the brain is a foundation, reading ability is also influenced by the growing child’s learning environment. Environment, they found, can hinder or boost reading acquisition. Their work shows that both nature and nurture are important in shaping language and reading development.