Early reading may be predictor for higher intelligence

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While reading is known to improve health, education, socioeconomic status, it may also boost intelligence.Or, it could be that avid reading in children may reflect knowledge-seeking behavior rather than just reading itself. Researchers enlisted the help of twins to find out which, if either, was true.

Early reading ability associated with all kinds of intelligence

Identical twins are genetically identical. For this study, researchers made sure they were brought up in the same family environment. They found that twins with better early reading ability than their identical sibling would not only remain better at reading as they grew older, but would score higher on intelligence tests. Not only was reading ability associated with better vocabulary and general knowledge, but also with better nonverbal intelligence. “It’s not too surprising that being better at reading might improve your vocabulary,” lead author Stuart Ritchie, “but it is more surprising that there were effects on nonverbal intelligence.”

Reading may improve abstract thinking and problem solving

“It’s possible that reading helps train children to use abstract thinking, as they have to imagine other people, places, and things while reading. This would be helpful in more general problem-solving tasks, such as those on IQ tests. Also, being better at reading might involve more practice of sitting down and concentrating on a task, which again would be useful for intelligent test performance.”

Future studies should reveal more

Other school activities such as mathematics, practicing self-control, or physical activity may also impact cognitive development. The team would also like to look at what age reading begins to have an effects on cognitive development.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Child Development


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