Reading stories increases brain connectivity

Most people have read at least one story that changed their way of thinking. Researchers at Emory University have found that the impressions a book cause on us can have long-term effects on our biology. After reading parts of a novel, the participants of the study showed a significant increase in the connectivity in the left and right regions of the brain that lasted for several days.

It seems that reading not only strengthens the language processing regions of the brain, but it also promotes “embodied semantics”, a process by which the act of reading invokes bodily sensations.

Read the study here: Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain

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Reading enhances memory

At a young age, reading is crucial to build vocabulary and learn how to communicate with others. As people get older, picking a book may help them deal with other problems. A study from 2013 has shown that engaging in cognitive activity at an older age is associated with slower late-life cognitive decay.

The researchers studied over 1,000 people, all older than 55 years, as they engaged in stimulating tasks, such as reading and writing. After their deaths, the participant’s brains were examined for signs of dementia and lesions. The participants who had engaged in cognitive tasks, both during early and late life periods, had a 32% slower rate of decline in memory.

Read the study here: Life-span cognitive activity, neuropathologic burden, and cognitive aging

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About World Book and Copyright Day

The World Book Day is celebrated by the UN on April 23. On this date, in 1616, both Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died. It is a day to celebrate books, authors, publishers and readers.

On 2019, the World Book and Copyright Day will celebrate literature with a focus on enhancing and protecting Indigenous languages. 

I joined United Academics team in 2015, during my Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, at the VU Amsterdam. By that time, I was starting to realize that, more than planning scientific experiments, I was interested in understanding how science evolved and where it is going. After joining United Academics, it became clearer that open access must be the path for science advancement. In 2016, I became United Academics's editor-in-chief.


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