Today over on Neurotic Physiology, there's an interesting piece about the inter-workings of your brain when you read silently.
The post examines a study (subscription required) recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience involving epileptic patients who had intracranial electrodes implanted in their auditory cortex for therapeutic purposes. Participants were asked to read a story silently and listen to a voice giving them instructions while researchers recorded their brain activity. Scicurious writes:
What's particularly new about this study is that it not only shows that silent reading causes high-frequency electrical activity in auditory areas, but it shows that these areas as specific to voices speaking a language. This activity was only present when the person was paying attention to the task. The authors believe that these results back up the hypothesis that we all produce an "inner voice" when reading silently. And it is enhanced by attention, suggesting that it's probably not an automatic process, but something that occurs when we attentively process what we are reading. And the next time you read silently, remember that it's not quite to silent to your brain.
Previously: Researchers identify the neural structures associated with poor reading skills, Imaging study shows little difference between poor readers with low IQ and poor readers with high IQ and Stanford study furthers understanding of reading
Photo by Pedro Ribeiro Simões