Monday, February 3, 2014

A novel look at how stories may change the brain

Reading a novel can make real, physical changes to your brain, according to research from Emory University. For two weeks, study participants read sections of a novel in the evenings, then had their brains scanned in the morning to track structural changes. Researchers found increased connectivity in areas of the brain associated with receptivity to language, as well as motor areas — which may explain why it can feel like you’re transported into the body of a character.

“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,” Berns says. “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.”

Researchers believe that the increased connectivity is lasting, like a muscle memory, since these effects were still seen days after the novel was finished. Is there a novel that’s made a big impact on your brain?

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READ the full article:
A novel look at how stories may change the brain
By Carol Clark | Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Emory University Research news

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