No more ‘speak when you’re spoken to’. Science shows discussions boost kids’ brain power – even if they talk nonsense
The Journal of Neuroscience has published a study revealing the benefit of allowing children to discuss things with adults. MRI images of 40 children between the ages of four and six showed greater development of white matter linking Wernicke’s area and Broca’s area – the parts of the brain responsible for language comprehension and production – in those who had engaged in more back-and-forth conversations with adults.
Effectively, and this is a slight generalisation, the study suggests that kids do better if you actually talk to them. It’s one of those moments where common sense tends to collide into full-blown dread.