Despite the prevalence of educational audiobooks or cartoon movies in today’s generation, researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital told CBC Radio that old-fashioned picture books are still the best instrument for your child’s brain.
According to the report published by CBC Radio, a study led by a pediatrician and clinical researcher Dr. John Hutton proved the significance of picture books to kids.
In the narrative provided by Dr. Hutton, he said that the participants of their study included 27 preschoolers ranging from three to five years old, with an even mix of boys and girls. All of them are non-readers. Afterward, the 27 kids have been presented with stories by Canadian author Robert Munsch in three different formats which include an audio-only book, a picture book with audio, and an animated cartoon in order to see what happens in the children’s brains.
Furthermore, the experiment was conducted through an FMRI scanner as the researchers showed a five-minute story utilizing the three different formats with intervals after each presentation. As a result, they have described the findings as the Goldilocks effect.
The Effect of an Audio Book
Based on CBC Radio, the audiobook presentation does not involve any visual networks to keep up with the story. In this manner, the kids may find it difficult to figure out what is going on. Dr. Hutton explains that kids find it difficult to figure out what the word means just by listening to it because they have not really seen a lot about the world yet. For this reason, he described the effect of an audiobook as “too cold” for younger ones, as cited in the Motherly website.
The Effect of a Picture Book with Audio
This is where the Goldilocks effect comes in. Picture books are just the right fit for the little brains of your kids. It is because there is a balanced integration of visual networks, default mode network, and language networks. “If you have a picture, that gives the child something to start with and then they bring their imagination into play and they could bring the story to life in their mind”,” as cited in CBC Radio.
The Effect of an Animated Cartoon
In the Motherly website, Dr. Hutton describes the effect of animated cartoons to children as “too hot” because of the disconnected networks at play. He said that there was about a 20-82% decrease in the different brain networks because a child needs more practice in reinforcing connections in their brain networks.
In other words, “the video format is just too much at once.”