Sunday, January 5, 2014

Reading A Novel Exercises "Muscles" In The Brain, Researchers Find

Hector Tobar at the Los Angeles Times offers a piece on what researchers found out about the brain when they conducted a study of people who read Robert Harris' novel Pompeii.

We all know that reading a novel can transport you, delight you and intrigue you while you’re reading it. Now, thanks research by scientists at Emory University, we know that immersing yourself in a novel causes measurable physical changes in the brain that can be detected up to five days after the reader closes the book.

The Emory researchers, in a paper for the journal Brain Connectivity, compared the effect to "muscle memory."

"The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist," neuroscientist Gregory Berns said, according to a report in the journal Science Codex. "We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else's shoes in a figurative sense. Now we're seeing that something may also be happening biologically."
You can read the read the rest of the piece via the below link:

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