Monday, October 22, 2012

Your reading brain

A recent NPR article, A Lively Mind: Your Brain On Jane Austen, described a researcher who put subjects into an fMRI machine and had them either dip into Jane Austen novels in a casual, browsing way, or else read them carefully and closely, as they would for an academic class. She wondered which parts of the brain would be activated when the way they read changed. The results were surprising! "Phillips found that close reading activated unexpected areas: parts of the brain that are involved in movement and touch. It was as though readers were physically placing themselves within the story as they analyzed it."

Check out this Stanford University article for a more in-depth discussion of this unique and fascinating study! Curious to learn more about how the brain responds to reading? Proust and the Squid is a wonderfully accessible and entertaining book that I can highly recommend!

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