A recent study in the Journal of Neuroscience has found a relationship between the amount of adult speech children are exposed to and the concentration of myelin in the brain. Myelin is an insulating material that strengthens certain nerve circuits and makes signals more efficient.
The researchers used a device fitted inside a vest to record over 6,208 hours of language data in eighty-seven six-month-olds and seventy-six thirty-month-olds. An MRI then examined the kids' brains during an afternoon nap. It was found that for the thirty-month-olds, larger amounts of adult speech were associated with higher quantities of myelin in language-related pathways in the brain.
More research is needed to further understand how this correlation may influence outcomes in children in the long term. Previous studies have already suggested that talking to your young kids helps improve language processing and boost vocabulary. The take-home point? Talk to your kids, a lot.
Read more (via The Guardian)