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Reading great story may switch brain’s working way: study

English.news.cn   2014-01-07 15:18:21            

BEIJING, Jan. 7 (Xinhuanet) --Reading a powerful story could change the way the brain works as scientists believe that it can put the reader in someone else's shoes in a figurative sense, according to a study in Brain Connectivity as quoted by media reports Tuesday.

Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, enlisted 21 students to read the novel Pompeii by bestselling author Robert Harris over 19 consecutive days while monitoring their brains.

The areas of the brain most affected were those which controlled the left temporal cortex influencing receptivity to language, they found.

The results published in journal Brain Connectivity showed that changes in brain functions stayed with the individuals for at least five days after they finished reading.

A powerful story has the ability to create a “muscle memory” in the brain, meaning that the reader may start to mimic a character’s actions or life choices, the researchers said.

Neuroscientist Gregory Berns said: “Stories shape our lives and in some cases help define a person. Favorite novels could certainly have a bigger and longer-lasting effect on the biology of our brains.”

(Agencies)

Related:

Children who stutter differ in brain development: study

VANCOUVER, Oct. 15, (Xinhua) -- Children who stutter have less grey matter in key regions of the brain responsible for speech production than children who do not stutter, according to a new Canadian study.

The study, published recently in the peer-reviewed journal Cortex, explains how the brain is built for speech production, why people stutter, and affirms the importance of seeking early treatment.  Full story

Editor: Hou Qiang
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