How Does Reading Affect Our Brain?
1. Stress is reduced more by reading than listening to music.
In a study carried out by the University of Sussex in 2009, it was shown that by having just a half hour of devoted reading can reduce your stress levels better that numerous other traditional ways of relaxing such as listening to music or enjoying a cup of tea. Your stress levels can be reduced by almost 68 percent which can be somewhat significant and this shows that your library is a good place for your mental health.
2. You do not read slower using paper as opposed to on a screen – you may however remember more.
In studies carried out prior to 1992, it appeared that books were on their way out and readers seemed to be taking in the text slower on an actual page as opposed to how they did on a screen. However, studies have been more varied and this is mostly because there are lots of different types of screens as well as having so much more text. Scientists however are not actually sure that this is the case though.
3. Our brains may have been evolved by reading.
Through her bestselling book Proust And The Squid, Dr. Maryanne Wolf believes in a theory that thousands of years ago when reading was discovered it urged our brains to develop and this allowed us to be able to embrace any information in different ways. Wolf has found that for her reading is one of the most crucial element in both intellectual history as well as human genetics, this also has a very large role in how we work, record, think and remember.
This is a fairly awesome one as a study carried out by Emory University has announced that apparently metaphors are in point of fact a lot more physical than what we think, especially the ones that are about texture. The MRI scans of people who heard the following statement twice. The first time they heard it was with metaphors with texture used (“She had a rough day”) and then the same statement again but this time with no metaphor (“She had a bad day”).
The results uncovered that whilst hearing the metaphor that uses texture, the part of our brain that gets activated every time we touch something lit up which shows that we’re certainly sensing the metaphors we are reading.
5. Our empathetic and ethical skills are improved by reading fiction.
It now appears that there is hard science that says by reading fiction it essentially compels us to be more empathethic. By immersing yourself in a good book you have the ability to broaden your outlook as you are able to see the world through the eyes of someone else such as a character in a book.
Being honest, the study which was once again done at Emery completely focused on the type of fiction which is clearly about characters from books like Anna Karenina to up-to-date modernists such as Virginia Woolf. After reading the results, it became clear that the subjects appeared more emotionally intelligent and empathetic meaning that they were able to “experience” the characters movements within their own movement areas of their brain.
6. By reading complex characters the brain can then be prompted to ‘write’ them.
Because the brain has a lot of ways to interpret as well as remember letter symbols, it is then able to develop a symbolic dialect which will help it. However, one of the most captivating ways in how it is able to cope occurs as and when reading anything that is on the whole complicated as well as being unusual like calligraphy or even Kanji. It therefore appears that the section of your brain that is associated with physically making text lights up because the brain is writing the letter like it is actually moving a writing implement and going over the symbols lines.
7. Our memory is boosted by Poetry.
Apparently something that is good for stimulating our brain and works in very much the same way as music is poetry which also links to the right side of the brain and is also where our emotions are regulated. This can also be known to lead us into a self-reflective and a memory-boosting condition and especially when we read poems we love that are also well-known.
There is a thing called the “poetry trance” and this is so named as poetry is known to light up the areas within the brain that also concern memory and when we are relaxing these will switch on.
I enjoyed the research into this article and also typing it us as I found it an interesting topic to know how our brains are affected when we are reading. As much as I love listening to music I do love to relax and unwind while reading a book. I find it especially helps me at night to read before I go to sleep as you can then empty your mind of everyday things and get lost in that other world where you can let your imagination run wild.
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