“Reading Brain”


As folks replace magazines, newspapers, and books with digital tablets and smartphones, our capacity to think and reflect on what’s before us, is suffering.  When we thoughtfully read, our brain builds new connections between its visual, language, and conceptual areas that can be described as valued rearranging.

Even when we read only a single word, the first millisecond of our brain’s reading circuit are devoted to decoding the word’s visual information and associating it to known sounds and meanings. This initial process allows us in the milliseconds that follow to use a virtual lens to see beyond decoded text to interpret deeper learning.

Its within these next precious milliseconds that we enter a thinking space where we connect the decoded information to more profound reflections as a bonus destiny. This thinking part of our reading process is an important approach to valuing literature with a postcolonial view that questions how characters, events, and themes of a work reinforce or undermine understanding of human behavior and cultural identity.

Musing beyond the text to analyze, infer, and think an innovative thought is the product of years of formation.   It takes time, from milliseconds to years, and conscious effort, to skillfully read with deep, expanding comprehension.

When it comes to building our brain’s reading circuit there’s no genetic guarantee that relying on smartphones and digital  tablets will ever develop the expert reading capacity that most folks achieve with traditional book or magazine reading habits. Our reading circuit’s plasticity is also its Achilles’ heel. It can be fully fashioned when we deep read, or short-circuited if using electronics brings the most appeal.

When  it comes to our Reading Brain, digital text skimming encourages neglecting precious milliseconds required for reflective thought that normally comes next.  It’s a FUNNY FEELING to know when we meet folks with awesome INSIGHT, it’s highly probably they’ve reflectively read words that cast THAT LIGHT.

    Copyright Alan P. Xenakis, MD, Doc X MD and Audra RN Funny Feelings Air Date 201808016

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