Babies Are Born Ready to Read | The Institute for Creation Research

Babies Are Born Ready to Read
Dogs don’t read the words on a page. Neither did Coco, the famous gorilla that learned to communicate using simple hand signs. So what affords humans the unique ability to read and write, and why do we do it? These kinds of questions drive Zeynep Saygin’s research at Ohio State. Her team’s recent discovery sets the stage for some answers.

Brain experts already knew about the visual cortex—an area of the brain where neurons fire as we interpret faces, shapes, and words. But Saygin’s group seeks to understand what happens in our brains as we learn to read.

The team compared functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data sets from 40 newborns to similar scans of 40 adults. fMRI shows neuron activity within the brain, so the comparison would indicate if baby brains come into the world already equipped with the wiring necessary to perceive and process letters later in life.

Literate adults have close connections between the part of the brain that processes the sight of letters, called the visual word form area (VWFA), and the brain’s nearby language network. The researchers discovered that newborn brains come prewired with similarly tight connections between the two areas.

They published their discovery in Scientific Reports.1

Saygin, the senior author of the study, told Ohio State News, “Even at birth, the VWFA is more connected functionally to the language network of the brain than it is to other areas. It is an incredibly exciting finding.”2

Lead author Jin Li said, “It’s interesting to think about how and why our brains develop functional modules that are sensitive to specific things like faces, objects, and words.”2

Why indeed?

From a Darwinian perspective, our brains’ functional modules would have incrementally developed over eons for our survival. But in what scenario would our ancestors have been forced to read or die? For that matter, how could such pressures reach into and rewire our brains?

On the other hand, if humans came from supernatural creation instead of mere nature, then the possibility opens for God to have intentionally prewired our brains “to see words.”2 And why would a Creator do that?

Reading is the key to understanding the most important information for time and eternity found in the Bible. Scripture says we were created for God, that our sins have driven a wedge between us and God, but that God sent His Son to take our sins upon Himself in order to restore our relationship with Him.

So, it makes sense that a God who has invested so much into us would also have endowed us with the prewiring needed to see letters. That way each can learn to read, take up the Bible, and discover the way back to Him.

References
1. Li, J. et al. 2020. Innate connectivity patterns drive the development of the visual word form area. Scientific Reports. 10: 18039.
2. Grabmeier, J. Humans are born with brains ‘prewired’ to see words. Ohio State News. Posted on news.osu.edu October 22, 2020.

*Dr. Brian Thomas is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in paleobiochemistry from the University of Liverpool.
The Latest
NEWS
Bees Master Complex Tasks Through Social Interaction
Bees are simply incredible.1,2 These little furry fliers challenge the very foundation of Darwinism in many diverse ways. Bees have been...

NEWS
The Tail of Man’s Supposed Ancestors
Although it has been known for decades and despite insistence to the contrary from the evolutionary community, man—Homo sapiens—has never...

NEWS
When Day Meets Night—A Total Success!
The skies cleared above North Texas on Monday, April 8, for a spectacular view of the 2024 Great American Solar Eclipse. Hundreds of guests joined...

NEWS
The Sun and Moon—Designed for Eclipses
Before discovering thousands of planets in other solar systems, scientists tended to assume that other solar systems would be very similar to our own....

NEWS
Let ICR Help You Prepare for the Great American Solar Eclipse!
On Monday, April 8th, the moon will move directly between the earth and the sun, resulting in a total solar eclipse visible in northern Mexico, much...

NEWS
Total Eclipse on April 8th
“You alone are the LORD; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas and all that...

CREATION PODCAST
Dismantling Evolution One Gear At A Time! | The Creation Podcast:...
The human body is a marvel of complexity and the more we learn about it, the more miraculous our existence becomes! Can evolution explain the...

NEWS
April 2024 ICR Wallpaper
"He appointed the moon for seasons; The sun knows its going down." (Psalm 104:19 NKJV) ICR April 2024 wallpaper is now available...

NEWS
Creation's Easter Message
While many Christians still consider the creation doctrine a fringe issue, a proper understanding of the Christian message finds creation at its core...

NEWS
ICR Veteran Don Barber Retires
Don Barber   After 34 years with the Institute for Creation Research, Director of Enterprise Technology Don Barber will retire...