Functional Neuroimaging and the Image of Phonics
Besides a linguistics and psychology of self-proclaimed trustworthiness, the scientific arsenal of neophonics also includes a growing stockpile of hightech images of the brain. The media has deemed this highly newsworthy. In a front-page headline on November 3, 1997, The Baltimore Sun announced, “The Brain Reads Sound By Sound” (p. 1A). Beneath the headline was a photograph of Reid Lyon standing before a picture of the brain taken with a magnetic resonance imaging machine. The article itself referred to the work of Yale researchers Bennett and Sally Shaywitz on the neuroimaging of reading. It claimed that phonics is supported by brain research, and meaning-centered programs have distracted us from scientifically defensible teaching.