What exactly goes on in your brain when you’re reading?



What exactly goes on in your brain when you’re reading?

In: Biology

Tiny electric impulses in various regions of your brain. Like a neuronal firework all around your head.

There is a small section of the brain that is dedicated to the interpretation of letters which allows you to read fluently;


Imagine this section of the brain didn’t exist, could you still read? The answer is yes, but with limitations. The ‘letterbox’ seems to have retooled a part of the brain that was evolved to do something else, the neural circuitry happens to function very well for reading.

Interestingly, it has its limits, for example, while it is possible to read through your periphery – you have to really train to do it. The letterbox works best for letters that are in the center of whatever you are looking at. You can read left to right, right to left, or stationary with the text moving, all very effectively, provided it is within a fairly narrow viewing angle.

So the short answer is that within the part of your brain that interprets letters, the brain is wired to quickly understand what it is seeing in such a way that forms the abstract idea of words and ideas without having to think about it. This is accomplished, as all things in the brain are, through a combination of electrical and chemical signals.