Ever had that experience reading a novel when you become so absorbed that you forget to each lunch or you miss your subway stop? Or you’re turning the pages so fast when you look up the house has gotten dark around you, and you realize you’ve been squinting to see the words. You probably call it “getting lost in a book,” and we could all probably name a novel that has caused this to happen. No surprises here, but many people mention J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series as making them victims of this absorption.
For the first time, bookish neurologists have looked into what causes people to get lost in a book, and they’ve used Harry Potter books as research. A team of researchers and scientists lead by psychologist Chun-Ting Hsu at Free University of Berlin in Germany studied brain reactions to particular passages in the Harry Potter books to see if certain types of excerpts facilitated the immersive experience.
The result was the ”fiction feeling hypothesis,” which the research team describes as: