Reading Changes Brain as Well as Mind

Reading Changes Brain as Well as Mind

January 31, 2009 6:01 pm 1 comment

Brains scans show activation during narrative.

An article by Gerry Everding from Physorg.com discusses reseach demonstrating that various regions of the brain are activated by reading fiction.

A new brain-imaging study is shedding light on what it means to “get lost” in a good book — suggesting that readers create vivid mental simulations of the sounds, sights, tastes and movements described in a textual narrative while simultaneously activating brain regions used to process similar experiences in real life.

“Psychologists and neuroscientists are increasingly coming to the conclusion that when we read a story and really understand it, we create a mental simulation of the events described by the story,” says Jeffrey M. Zacks, study co-author and director of the Dynamic Cognition Laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis.

The study, forthcoming in the journal Psychological Science, is one of a series in which Zacks and colleagues use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to track real-time brain activity as study participants read and process individual words and short stories.

Hey, pathworking and other forms of guided imagery actually do something measurable!  Why, that means that role-playing games…umh…uh, oh.

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