Here’s one for anyone who said no to a night out to stay home and read a book; a study has found that reading a compelling novel may boost brain connectivity and create neurological changes that work in a similar way to muscle memory, with some changes lingering around for at least five days after you put down the book.
The research, conducted by Emory University, registered changes in the left temporal cortex – which is associated with language receptivity – as well as the primary sensory motor region – a part of the brain that has been linked to tricking the mind into believing that it’s doing something it’s not – which is probably why we feel a heightened sense of love and suspense when reading a good book.
“The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist,” neuroscientist Professor Gregory Berns, lead author of the study, told The Independent. “We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else’s shoes in a figurative sense. Now we’re seeing that something may also be happening biologically.”