The Neurological Story of Reading and Reading Difficulties

Koksal S. A.

STUDIES IN PSYCHOLOGY-PSIKOLOJI CALISMALARI DERGISI, vol.37, no.1, pp.73-81, 2017 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Book Review
  • Volume: 37 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Page Numbers: pp.73-81


Professor Maryanne Wolf, who completed her doctoral studies at Harvard University, administers Tuft University's Center for Reading and Language Studies, where she conducts studies to explain the development of language and reading. She says that reading is one of the most remarkable inventions in history. In her book "Proust and The Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain: " Wolf tells the story of reading and invites us to a long journey along the folds and pathways of the brain and presents satisfying answers to the questions of readers who are familiar with the neuroscience terminology and interested in the neurological background of reading acquisition. The author goes on an exploration trip through the neural pathways established among nerve cells in order to tell the story of reading. Hodgkin and Huxley discovered very important information on the working principle of nerve cells in the 1950s by means of their researches on the giant axons of the squid. For this very reason, the writer has included "the squid" in the title of her book, to thank to the squid due to its important contributions for understanding the working mechanism of neurons. Another hero in the title of the book is the French novelist Proust, who regards reading as a sort of intellectual "shrine". Wolf treated Proust who was deeply aware of the value of reading and the Squid that illuminated the story of the reading, albeit indirectly, as the symbolic heroes of this story. This text in your hand does not intent to present a complete coverage of the Wolf's book ("Proust and The Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain") on the scientific and neurological story of reading. Rather, this writing is a review essay that aims to shed light on the important messages in the book.