chapter  15
12 Pages

1Chapter 5 How the Origins of the Reading Brain Instruct Our Knowledge of Reading Intervention

Human beings come into the world programmed by our genes to interact immediately with our environment. On this basis we are able to see, hear, taste, and touch almost from the moment of birth. And, we are poised to learn multiple skills that contribute to human existence and ensure our survival. The full panoply of our genetic capacities represents the legacy of our species’ long evolution, memorably summarized by Charles Darwin at the end of On the Origin of Species: “From so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved” (as quoted in Carroll, 2005). Within such a view of our evolution, what are the origins of a totally cultural invention like reading? How did humans ever learn to read? How might an evolutionary view of reading inform modern reading interventions for children who do not learn to read easily or well?