MRI reveals brain’s response to Jane Austen Jane AustenNatalie Phillipsregions of the brainunexpected increase
Researchers asked people to read Jane Austen in an MRI machine, and say the surprising results suggest reading closely could be “training” for our brains.
Surprising preliminary results reveal a dramatic and unexpected increase in blood flow to regions of the brain beyond those responsible for “executive function,” areas which would normally be associated with paying close attention to a task, such as reading, says Natalie Phillips, the literary scholar leading the project.
The research is “one of the first fMRI experiments to study how our brains respond to literature,” says Phillips, as well as the first to consider “how cognition is shaped not just by what we read, but how we read it.”
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