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'Back-and-forth' conversations with young kids may aid brain development
by Lisa Rapaport
Reuters Translate This Article
13 August 2018
On 13 August 2018 Reuters reported:
For decades, doctors have told parents to talk to kids as often as possible to help build speech and language skills. Now, a new study suggests that how parents talk to children may matter just as much as how much time they spend talking. 'We found that the most relevant component of children's language exposure is not the sheer number of words they hear, but the amount of back-and-forth adult-child conversation they experience,' said lead study author Rachel Romeo of Boston Children's Hospital and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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'These 'conversational turns' are strongly related to the physical strength of white-matter connections between the two key language regions in the left hemisphere of the brain,' Romeo said by email. 'Most importantly, this relationship between conversational turns and brain structure held independent of family socioeconomic status, indicating the importance of turns across all sociodemographic backgrounds.'
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