Sunday, December 29, 2013

Reading a novel triggers lasting changes in the brain

College student reading, lying outside on grass
After performing fMRI scans, researchers found that reading a novel causes lasting effects in regions of the brain responsible for language receptivity and for making sensory representations of the body.
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Lovers of literature can rejoice: a new study combines the humanities and neuroscience to take a look at what effects reading a novel can have on the brain. Researchers say exploring a book can not only change your perspective, but also it can change your mind - at least for a few days.
The researchers, from Emory University in Atlanta, GA, published their findings in the journal Brain Connectivity.
Neuroscientist Gregory Berns, lead author and director of Emory's Center for Neuropolicy, says:
"Stories shape our lives and in some cases help define a person. We want to understand how stories get into your brain, and what they do to it."
To investigate the inner workings of the novel-reading mind, the researchers recruited 21 undergraduates from Emory, who were instructed to read a thriller written by Robert Harris in 2003, titled Pompeii...Read complete article here...

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