Petersson, K. M., & Reis, A.
(2006). Characteristics of illiterate and literate cognitive processing: Implications of brain- behavior co-constructivism. In P. B. Baltes, P. Reuter-Lorenz, & F. Rösler (Eds.), Lifespan development and the brain: The perspective of biocultural co-constructivism (pp. 279-305). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Literacy and education represent essential aspects of contemporary society and subserve
important aspects of socialization and cultural transmission. The study of illiterate subjects
represents one approach to investigate the interactions between neurobiological and cultural
factors in cognitive development, individual learning, and their influence on the functional
organization of the brain. In this chapter we review some recent cognitive, neuroanatomic,
and functional neuroimaging results indicating that formal education influences important
aspects of the human brain. Taken together this provides strong support for the idea that the
brain is modulated by literacy and formal education, which in turn change the brains capacity
to interact with its environment, including the individual's contemporary culture. In other
words, the individual is able to participate in, interact with, and actively contribute to the
process of cultural transmission in new ways through acquired cognitive skills.