Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Still Read Fiction

This post by Gabe Bergado originally appeared on Mic on 11/21/14.

They tend to be more empathetic toward others.

It’s not news that reading has countless benefits: Poetry stimulates parts of the brain linked to memory and sparks self-reflection; kids who read the Harry Potter books tend to be better people. But what about people who only read newspapers? Or people who scan Twitter all day? Are those readers’ brains different from literary junkies who peruse the pages of 19th century fictional classics?

Short answer: Yes — reading enhances connectivity in the brain. But readers of fiction? They’re a special breed.

The study: A 2013 Emory University study looked at the brains of fiction readers. Researchers compared the brains of people after they read to the brains of people who didn’t read. The brains of the readers — they read Robert Harris’ Pompeii over a nine-day period at night — showed more activity in certain areas than those who didn’t read.

 

Read the full post on Mic.

 

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