Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges once said ‘I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library’. This statement truly resonates to those who love reading. Reading expands our memories, help you lead alternate lives and allows you to make a connection that transcend the barriers of continents and generations. This certainly would be sounding like a romanticization of reading, but science has shown that it can help our brain develop in remarkable ways.
Reading rewires your brain
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University observed the structure of children’s brains before and after 100 hours of intensive reading training and found that the ‘white matter’ of the brain that is, the stuff that improves brain communication has increased and they were able to read better. This results also suggested that reading deficits in children can point to specific problems in brain’s circuits that can be treated and improved with reading.
Reading in a foreign language can make your brain grow
Learning a foreign language could be a challenge but is highly productive for a brain. It helps in developing our cognitive abilities intelligence and memory. Swedish Scientists have also discovered that reading and learning a foreign language can increase the size of your brain.
Reading about an experience is like you are living it yourself
Interestingly, researchers in Spain have also found that brain does not draw contrasts between reading about an encounter and experiencing it in real life. Whether reading or experiencing it, the same neurological regions are stimulated. Fiction books offer a meticulous replicas of real life and allows its readers to fully submerge themselves in another person’s thoughts and feelings owing to their own faculty of imagination. While you can certainly hop into a Vr game at the mall and a have a great time, it seems that reading is the original virtual reality experience, at least for your brain.
Different reading styles create different reading patterns
Any kind of reading provides stimulation to your brain, but different types of reading give different experiences with varying benefits. At Stanford University, researchers observed an interesting difference when people skimmed experts of Jane Austen’s novel and when they closely read it as if they are studying it for an exam. In both the cases blood flow increased but in separate parts of the brain.
Reading makes you empathetic
Literary fiction develops another important segment of human brain, that is, its emotional capacity to empathize with others and understand other’s feelings and emotions. It feels great to lose yourself into a book, and doing so can eve physically change your brain.
It also makes you smarter
Dan Hurly in his work The Guardian, highlighted towards a recent study and confirmed that the reading and intelligence are closely related. He spoke about the three types of intelligences most recognised by the psychologists and stated that people who read well overall performed better on all fronts, as reading truly provides an exercise for people’s brain. [Read: How to appear smarter?]
Reading heightens the brain connectivity
Reading a novel can actually change the brain. Researchers at Emory University’s centre for Neuropolicy have found that reading a narrative can cause changes in the brain, not only while participating in the activity but in resting-state connectivity. When we read the connection between the left temporal cortexes of the brain, that is the area associated with language is heightened. And the heightened activity continues for several days following reading.
It increases the capacity of our working memory
Reading s the best kind of workout for our brain, as it manifests in itself the ability to improve our memory. It involves several brain functions, including visual and auditory processes. It gives brain more time to think, absorb, and imagine. This increased mental activity helps your memory to get sharp.
It expands reader’s attention span
Some books have a sequential narrative style that is, a beginning, middle and end. Reading encourages the brain to think similarly in sequences and thus spend more time on building a story rather than rushing through each detail. When we read novel, we read linearly, slowly thinking about and processing the information which is right in front of us. This exercise of taking proper time for processing the narrative,, to think about the complex layers of the story and hoe they actually fit together, actually increases the capacity for longer attention spans.
It also reduces mental stress
When we indulge in the habit of reading, it’s easier for your brain to relax and temporarily transport itself into another world. A god book can let your stress evaporate, put you in character’s shoe and keeps you focussed on the word you are reading. If you are looking for an easy way to relax and distress, try to indulge yourself into the exercise of regular reading. [Read: What stresses you out based on your Zodiac signs!]
We have given you ten splendid reasons to start reading. Reading being such a resourceful technique to curb stress, improve attention and expand your knowledge bank, why would anyone say no to reading?
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