Friday, October 21, 2005

Brain of a Podcaster or Blogger?

Because the brain networks for reading and listening are different, some of us will be much better at reading blogs, while others of us will be much better with podcasts. This may be one of the most important learning style differences we have in the classroom or even in our workplaces.

In the figure below, the hot colors show what the brain looks like when it reads a sentence, and the cool colors, when it hears a sentence. There are areas of overlap (check out the paper below to see that Figure), but large areas of difference as well. Podcasts likely activate more on the "right" side of the brain, than blogs (in the figure, right and left are "reversed" according to radiology conventions).

How well suited are schools to brains of bloggers vs. podcasters? It might vary quite a bit, depending on the teacher. At times, a great discrepancy can exist between the two routes (much better with reading / much better with listening) so that it really needs to be looked for. Whenever we have a student who really bottoms out language-heavy questions, we check whether they can perform much better if the questions are available to be read (minimizing auditory working verbal working memory), the questions can be read to them.

Visual vs. Auditory Language Processing and fMRI
Ipods in School

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