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Great at reading or recognizing faces? You might not do so well on an IQ test.
The English psychologist Charles Spearman was the first to argue that a single factor, called "g," explains most of the variability in human intelligence. When observing the performance of children at school, he noticed that a child who did well in math would also do well in geography or Latin. There seemed to be a... Read More
Luke the Evangelist (source: British Library). In the past, only a minority could read long texts of cursive writing. But many more could read short texts of block writing. The Visual Word Form Area (VWFA) is a specialized part of the brain that helps us recognize written words and letters. If it is subjected to... Read More
Codex Suprasliensis (source). Texts were less reader-friendly in the past. An ability to read and write meant not only a good livelihood but also reproductive success. The Visual Word Form Area (VWFA) is a brain region that specializes in recognizing written words and letters. Though not essential to reading and writing, it makes these tasks... Read More
The French journal L’Histoire has a special issue on reading and writing in ancient societies. One article, about Mesopotamia, makes several points that support an argument I have made: the invention of writing, especially alphabetical writing, created a strong selection pressure for people who had the rare ability to take dictation or copy written texts... Read More
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