The sense of touch could play an important part in learning how to read, according to a study of 30 adults by researchers at the University of Grenoble, in France. The researchers presented the participants with 15 visual stimuli - based on Japanese characters - which were randomly linked to 15 different sounds, as though the participants were learning a made up language. The participants used two learning methods, one based on the traditional links between sight and sound and the other incorporating touch. Both methods were found to give the participants a better-than-random chance to match the symbols and sounds but performances when using touch as well as sight were much better. The researchers thought that touch played a role in cementing the links between sight and sound although the exact brain mechanisms behind this are yet to be found.
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