Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The Need to Read

We’ve been saying all along that it doesn’t make much difference if you read by traditional or electronic methods: it’s the reading itself that’s the thing. Turns out, we were right.

According to a study done at Washington University, reading a book blazes new neural pathways. Our brains are actually physically changed by the experience of reading. From The Guardian:
Psychologists from Washington University used brain scans to see what happens inside our heads when we read stories. They found that "readers mentally simulate each new situation encountered in a narrative". The brain weaves these situations together with experiences from its own life to create a new mental synthesis. Reading a book leaves us with new neural pathways.

The discovery that our brains are physically changed by the experience of reading is something many of us will understand instinctively, as we think back to the way an extraordinary book had a transformative effect on the way we viewed the world. This transformation only takes place when we lose ourselves in a book, abandoning the emotional and mental chatter of the real world.
The full piece is fascinating and it’s here.


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