Skilled Readers Rely on their Brain’s ‘Visual Dictionary’ to Recognise Words

According to this press article, Georgetown neuroscientists say once a word is known, sounding it out is not necessary. And it’s this work that is the basis of my new series of visual memory workshops.

I first came across something called “the spelling strategy” while training as an NLP Master Practitioner – learning I started in order to support my dyslexic son back in 2008. He and I went on a separate ‘how to’ workshop at the time. Then, last year I refreshed my skills and caught up with all the latest neuroscience thinking when I qualified as a Visual Memory Practitioner.

Anyway, this article explains quite neatly the basic science behind why visual memory is so important to us as we learn to read and spell. It’s important here that I make a clear distinction between visual teaching styles and visual memory (or learning) – they’re different things.

On my workshops, I’ll cover the shocking connection between kids on the spectrum of dyslexia, ADD etc. and a lack of visual memory. The kids are encouraged to have fun with visualisation and use their imaginations.

I’ve summarised the salient points from the article below:

  • Skilled readers can recognize words at lightning fast speed because the word has been placed in a visual dictionary of sorts
  • Unraveling how the brain solves the complex task of reading can help in uncovering the brain basis of reading disorders, such as dyslexia
  • If the sounds of the word had influence in this part of the brain we would expect to see that they activate the same or similar neurons, but this was not the case
  • It requires some time to read and sound a word out, but after perhaps just one visual presentation of the word, you can recognize it without sounding it out.

To learn more about visual memory, call me on 07768 026197.