Brain adaptation to the type of information that is processed has been documented in several conditions in animals and humans. Illiteracy due to social reasons is a good source of information to investigate the adaptation mechanisms to the formal knowledge of written language. In this paper, a series of studies addressing this topic are reviewed. Illiterate subjects and their carefully selected controls were compared in several experimental conditions. It is concluded that schooling and in particular the knowledge of orthography introduces in the brain new strategies for information processing that manifest themselves in task performance, in brain activation studies and in anatomical studies.
- Language processing