This is a very important question that has far reaching implications. We communicate in terms of words, both verbally and with reading. But we don't think in terms of words. Instead we think in terms of concepts and pictures. So, being able to enhance our ability to remember and relate pictures and concepts to words will improve our thinking, which in turn will improve our reading.
And not to worry — lots of research has shown that we can improve visual memory through practice. In terms of remembering shape and location of objects to be detected, research has shown that showing the stimulus on multiple trials, with slight differences in target locations, improves visual working memory (Olson, et al., 2005). It is believed the showing the same shape, with variations in where to look and concentrate, serves to prioritize and enhance the processing of the information by activating our visual working memory.
This could be helpful in terms of how people go about processing visual information. When looking at pictures over and over in an attempt to name, understand, and/or remember those pictures it is important to scan the pictures, and look at different locations and details of the pictures. Focusing on different aspects of the pictures when looking at them over and over activates visual working memory. With time, and repeated exposures, the pictures will be remembered better and better.
Interestingly, visual working activity is related to mathematical problem solving. Researchers followed children from 1st to 3rd grade (Swanson, 2011). They show that mathematical abilities are related to improvements in attention and visual working memory. Working to improve visual working memory, will not only improve reading, but will also improve mathematical abilities. In fact, improving visual memory will help improve attention too (Pan, 2011).
Dynaread is uniquely positioned to help improve working memory skills while working to eliminate reading struggles. There is a new visual and auditory memory game that helps improve working memory in general. The game presents sequences of location and sound specific buttons that the player has to repeat. These sequences get faster and longer as player progresses. These increasingly complex sequences activate visual and auditory working memory, in turn improving attention and reading. These improvements will help foster confidence by demonstrating success, another core concept of Dynaread. We want to help children overcome their reading struggles using all available means.
Olson IR, Jiang Y, Moore KS (2005). Associative Learning Improves Visual Working Memory Performance. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, Vol. 31, No. 5, 889—900
Pan Y (2011). Attentional Capture by Working Memory Contents. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, Vol. 64, No. 2, 124—128
Swanson HL (2011). Working Memory, Attention, and Mathematical Problem Solving: A Longitudinal Study of Elementary School Children, Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol. 103, No. 4, 821—837
Our Dynaread team members are required to hold themselves accountable for serving our clients in adherence with our core values...
Dynaread has been developed in the trenches of actual remediation, with our feet firmly planted on the ground. Scientific research is essential (and we consistently use it), but we also understand the realities at home and in school. Not all homes have two parents, not all Dad's or Mom's are always home, there is oftentimes no money, schools lack staff or funding. We listen, we observe, we discuss, and we build the best solutions we can for older (ages 7+) struggling readers.