Reading Is Really, Really Good For You
This is for all of you who love to read…………… Gregory Berns published a recent study that found significant brain benefits from reading a novel. 19 people had their brains scanned before, during and five days after reading Robert Harris’ Pompeii, a novel. You can read the results in the journal, Brain Connectivity but here is the spoiler.
Researchers found heightened connectivity in the areas of the brain associated with receptivity to language, the left temporal cortex, even when the brain was resting.
The scans also revealed greater activity in the area of the brain responsible for the sense of touch and embodiment, the somatosensory cortex. The changes persisted for five days after participants had finished reading the novel.
The lead author explained the persistent neurological changes as,
“Even though the participants were not actually reading the novel while they were in the scanner, they retained this heightened connectivity. We call that a ‘shadow activity,’ almost like a muscle memory.” He concluded that,”reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist. 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.”
source: Berns et al 2013.
Read, read read