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Reading A Novel May Be Good For Your Brain

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(credit:  Mustafa Ozer/Getty Images)

(credit: Mustafa Ozer/Getty Images)

mattleman_125 Education Reports
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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Is reading a good book one of your greatest pleasures? Research from Emory University provides evidence that reading novels is more than entertainment; it seems to be good for the brain.

Students involved in a study while reading Pompeii, a thriller by Richard Harris, were given regular brain scans. Research showed higher connectivity in areas of the brain associated with language receptivity, grasping or sensing things that the reader isn’t literally experiencing.

According to an article in Education Week, even seven days after the students had been actively reading the book, the heightened area of the brain was apparent, suggesting something akin to muscle memory.

This research has importance for discussions about the Common Core standards in which more factual material has been prescribed over fiction, while we know that a good story is much more likely to encourage readers than strictly informational reading.

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