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All Quotes by author - Maryanne Wolf
" After many years of research on how the human brain learns to read, I came to an unsettlingly simple conclusion: We humans were never born to read. "
" After we become literate, we literally 'think differently' about language: images of brain activation between literate and nonliterate humans bear this out. "
" As a cognitive neuroscientist and scholar of reading, I am particularly concerned with the plight of the reading brain as it encounters this technologically rich society. "
" As work in neurosciences indicates, the acquisition of literacy necessitated a new circuit in our species' brain more than 6,000 years ago. That circuit evolved from a very simple mechanism for decoding basic information, like the number of goats in one's herd, to the present, highly elaborated reading brain. "
" Each young reader has to fashion an entirely new 'reading circuit' afresh every time. There is no one neat circuit just waiting to unfold. This means that the circuit can become more or less developed depending on the particulars of the learner: e.g., instruction, culture, motivation, educational opportunity. "
" Every opportunity to practice is a gift to the developing reader. Practice, practice, practice, in every form and medium! "
" Fluency is the developmental process that connects decoding with everything we know about words to make the meaning of the text come to life. Fluency is a wonderful bridge to comprehension and to a life-long love of reading. "
" I am an apologist for the reading brain. It represents a miracle that springs from the brain's unique capacity to rearrange itself to learn something new. "
" I am an educator and neuroscientist who studies how the brain learns to read and what happens when a young brain can't learn to read easily, as in the childhood learning challenge, developmental dyslexia. "
" I have no doubt that the digital immersion of our children will provide a rich life of entertainment and information and knowledge. My concern is that they will not learn, with their passive immersion, the joy and the effort of the third life, of thinking one's own thoughts and going beyond what is given. "
" I worry that the superficial way we read during the day is affecting us when we have to read with more in-depth processing. "
" Learning to read, for the brain, is a lot like an amateur ringmaster first learning how to organise a three-ring circus. He wants to begin individually and then synchronise all the performances. It only happens after all the separate acts are learned and practised long and well. "
" Literacy is so much entwined in our lives that we often fail to realize that the act of reading is a miracle that is evolving under our fingertips. "
" Look around on your next plane trip. The iPad is the new pacifier for babies and toddlers. Younger school-aged children read stories on smartphones; older boys don't read at all, but hunch over video games. Parents and other passengers read on Kindles or skim a flotilla of email and news feeds. "
" No one can ever prepare a parent for two things: the immeasurable love that comes with having a child; and the sorrow and confusion that comes when your child appears to learn in a different way from other children. "
" The attention span of children may be one of the main reasons why an immersion in on-screen reading is so engaging, and it may also be why digital reading may ultimately prove antithetical to the long-in-development, reflective nature of the expert reading brain as we know it. "
" The brain is constantly adapting. "
" The brain is plastic its whole life span. "
" The integration of the simpler and the deeper reading processes is not automatic and requires years of learning by the novice reader, as well as extra milliseconds for any expert to read a more sophisticated text. "
" The questions that our society must ask revolve around whether the time-consuming demands of the deep-reading processes will be lost in a culture whose principal mediums advantage speed, multitasking, and processing the next and the next piece of information. "
" There are no genes or areas in the brain devoted uniquely to reading. Rather, our ability to read represents our brain's protean capacity to learn something outside our repertoire by creating new circuits that connect existing circuits in a different way. "
" There's an old rule in neuroscience that does not alter with age: use it or lose it. It is a very hopeful principle when applied to critical thought in the reading brain because it implies choice. "
" There's a richness that reading gives you, an opportunity to probe more than any other medium I know of. Reading is about not being content with the surface. "
" We have to move into the 21st century, but we should do so with great care to build a 'bi-literate' brain that has the circuitry for 'deep reading' skills and, at the same time, is adept with technology. "
" We humans invented literacy, which means it doesn't come for free with our genes like speech and vision. Every brain has to learn it afresh. "
" We know from research that the reading circuit is not given to human beings through a genetic blueprint like vision or language; it needs an environment to develop. Further, it will adapt to that environment's requirements - from different writing systems to the characteristics of whatever medium is used. "
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