How did reading and writing evolve? Neuroscience gives us some clues - Deepstash

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The Visual Cortex: Processing Visual Information

The Visual Cortex: Processing Visual Information

The visual cortex region of the brain, which is responsible for processing visual information came millions of years before reading and writing was invented.

  • Recent research has provided new insights on how the brain is able to make sense of letters studied the ancient engraved patterns produced by early humans and their ancestors like Neanderthals and Homo Erectus.
  • The findings suggest that many repetitive lines, grids and angles make up the early visual markings that seem to evolve into complex writing and reading.

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The Gestalt Principles

Our brain has the ability to respond to certain patterns and try to make sense of them, using the visual perceptions known as Gestalt Principles, helping early scribblers to construct basic formations that stimulated the higher-order visual cortex regions of the brain.

Our brain's response to geometry and patterns started taking shape in creation of symmetrical tools known as Acheulean Tools, about 700,000 years ago.

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From Engravings To Writings

  • The geometric patterns that denoted information using symmetry, evolved from crude lines into engraved designs and eventually into modern writing.
  • Writing text involves an area of the brain known as premotor cortex, which is also responsible for driving manual skills.
  • Various neurological processes involving identification, pattern recognition and replication to create meaning furthered the evolution of the skills of writing and reading, which have stood the test of time.

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