Does reading change your brain?

If ever you wanted an argument to justify why you spend many hours of your life reading,  some recent research by Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, might fit the bill.

Apparently the university’s Centre for Neuropolicy ran an experiment with undergraduate students to determine if levels of activity in the brain were affected by reading a page-turning novel. Over the course of nine days, the students were given assignments in which they read sections of Robert Harris’ novel Pompeii . Their brain patterns before and after reading were then compared.

What the experiment showed was that the reading activity affected the brain in two different ways — improving the parts of the brain associated with language receptivity and with sensation. The effects lasted for several hours after the students finished their assigned reading.

Neuroscientist Gregory Berns, the academic who lead the study, isn’t ready to declare that the experiment shows reading will result in long lasting changes in  neural patterns but he does state: “your favorite novels could certainly have a bigger and longer-lasting effect on the biology of your brain. ”

So next time you get accused of ‘wasting time’ on reading, maybe you can simply refer your critics to Mr Berns.

For the full article on Does Reading Change Your Brain, click here http://ow.ly/s71q6

About BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

Posted on December 28, 2013, in Book Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Does it depend on how you react to the chosen book, I wonder? I actually thought ‘Pompeii’ was Harris’ weakest book and wouldn’t have been able to get very excited about it at all.

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  2. Interesting. Makes me worry a bit about the effects of the books I choose to read. More books that are good for me and less brain candy!

    Like

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