Everyone uses the same tiny spot in the brain to read - regardless of language.

Stanislas Dehaene, a French cognitive neuroscientist, has researched the origins and invention of literacy.

He has discovered a tiny area of the brain responsible for recognizing words and written characters, which he has called the letterbox.

Remarkably, it is at the same location in all people, regardless of the language or whether they learned with whole-language or phonics methods, a single brain region seems to take on the function of recognizing the visual word.

Reading and writing are a relatively recent invention, yet this brain function apparently evolved millions of years earlier.

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