You Are What You Read: Research Reveals The Importance Of What You’re Reading
Are you a tabloid loving, pop culture obsessed, meme and GIF intrigued person? Do you like sensational novels to pass the time? According to a new study published in the International Journal of Business Administration in May 2016, your love for “light reading,” and web-based aggregators like Reddit, Tumblr and BuzzFeed may not be doing you any good. An article published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies reported that more emotionally charged writing works to arouse several regions in the brain that respond to music. When comparing reading poetry and prose, researchers found that poetry activates the posterior cingulate cortex and medial temporal lobes — both of which are linked to self-analysis. For the study, volunteers also read their favorite poems, which stimulated parts of the brain associated with memory.
These areas of the brain, predominantly located on the right side, had already been shown to provoke “shivers down the spine” as a result of an emotional reaction to music. Recent experiments have revealed that reading literary fiction makes way for better performance on tests of affective theory of mind, or understanding others’ thinking and wellbeing.
The study published in the International Journal of Business Administration found that this type of reading enhances theory of mind, which may be influenced by a higher amount of engagement with real works of art as opposed to reading magazine articles, interviews, and online nonfiction reporting. When you turn on the TV, you’re signaling your brain power to shut down. Likewise, reading lightweight material for entertainment simply doesn’t fire up your writing brain to help you become a better writer. So, rather than turning on the tube or scrolling through articles on Facebook, spend more time deep-reading literary fiction and poetry. .
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