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  • Writer's pictureDr. Weston Johnson

The Reading Brain (Part 1): Reading Isn't Natural

Updated: May 9, 2023

When educators teach reading, they are literally changing the way the brain is wired. This is because our student's brains haven't evolved to learn to read. However, because of the brain's neural plasticity, it can repurpose existing neural networks (Dehaene, 2009).

Simply put, there is no specific part of the brain dedicated to reading.

It's not a natural thing our brain's just start doing. When learning to read, the brain adapts for a new purpose. This adaptation occurs over time, so depending on where a student is in their reading development, the patterns in the brain are activated differently (Cunningham & Rose).

Within the brain, it is the left hemisphere that is associated with language comprehension, speech production, reading, and mathematical calculations (Ormrod, 2016).

Text and image from aLEARNcoach LLC (

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