Back-and-Forth Conversation Enhances Brain

MIT scientists found that adult-child conversation changes the child’s brain. Conversation accounts for a significant portion of the brain physiology and language skills in children. The research found that this is true regardless of the family’s socioeconomic status.

Impact on Academic Scores

There is a strong correlation between the number of conversational turns and scores on standardized language tests, including vocabulary, grammar and verbal reasoning. In fact, the correlation between test scores and back-and-forth conversation were stronger than the correlation between language scores and the number of words heard. In other words, back-and-forth conversation had a greater impact on brain development than simply hearing words spoken.

Interactive conversation enables children to practice listening, speech and communication skills, which includes understanding the meaning behind what the other person is saying.


The key takeaway is to talk with your child, not just to your child.


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Photo credit: Edward | Pixabay