Books Help Develop the Mind

The absence of hassle during the New Year holidays is a wonderful occasion to please your brain with a good and interesting book. Moreover, there are serious studies proving the direct influence of reading on the brain, incomparable with any “developing” computer games …

If the story is written especially convincingly and with talent, then the imagination of everyone will begin to play. The biology of the reading person’s brain is changing, which allows one to experience physical sensations while reading.

As was established by Emory University, the changes remain valid for a minimum of five days after reading the story. An experiment was conducted during which a group of volunteers were invited to read a thriller. For the next five days, an MRI scans of their brains were performed.

It turned out that thought this period, there were elevated levels of activity of the connections in the left temporal cortex responsible for the language. The same happened in the central sulcus, separating the sensory part of the cortex from the motor cortex. This includes the phenomenon of “transference”: it is enough for a person to think about running, in order to activate the neurons responsible for running.

Reading is a very difficult exercise for the brain. This is its advantage, and it is also the reason for the difficulties in teaching reading and writing …

The newest MRI study confirmed that most of the higher brain regions are involved during reading.So, reading can be considered as the best exercise for keeping the brain “in shape” …

The teaching of reading and writing was viewed by all civilizations as a key step in the intellectual development of the human, and despite all the difficulties and time costs. As it turned out, beyond such an “external” utility of reading / writing, it is also the way the brain functions.

The brain of an individual who knows how to read works in a much more complicated way, than the brain of the illiterate. And the brain of an individual practicing reading from childhood, knows how to better activate all of its resources, than the brain of an individual who has learned to read already being an adult.

During the experiment, volunteers were given various test tasks, including the recognition of objects, persons, oral messages, written proposals and mathematical tasks.

It turned out that in a literate individual, when recognizing the text, the visual zone of the cerebral cortex begins to work much more intensively, the areas responsible for the processing of sound information are activated, and several other brain centers are simultaneously activated.

But not only this characterizes the work of the “intellectual brain” – even with the perception of only oral information, a literate individual begins to work more intensively than an illiterate individual, the phonological area and several other zones are engaged.

Particularly intensively during reading work zones in the temporal and occipital lobe of the cortex of the left hemisphere of the brain (it is characteristic that many of these zones are associated with the recognition of faces). The most important for reading was the area of convergence of the occipital and temporal lobes. And so much so that this area has undergone noticeable changes, also in those who have learned to read as an adult.

The data that the competition between reading and other activities reduces the quality of the latter is not yet available (although the results of the experiments described have shown, for example, that in the illiterate volunteers the brain begins to work much more actively when showing a human face, than those who learned to read in childhood). Investigators hope to clarify this issue in the following experiments …

And so, it can safely be said that reading is one of the best exercises that allows you to keep the entire brain in shape.This is all the more important, given that such competitors to reading as “developing” computer games, have shown themselves as highly questionable “trainers for the mind”.

Especially the brain reading exercise should be relevant for people who need to restore the brain after a serious injury or stroke. It is known that the brain is a very flexible organ, and if, for example, one of the “modules” is damaged, then others try to perform its function. And if an individual continues to intensively train this function, then it can recover almost completely. It turns out that regular reading here should help a lot …

Another important consequence of the results of the study: difficulties in teaching reading and writing are natural. If a child (and even more so an adult) cannot easily master this seemingly ordinary form of activity, now we should remember – what seems elementary outwardly, in fact, is one of the most difficult tasks that the human brain can solve …

The general conclusion: a constant exercise in reading not only improves this reading itself and, for example, broadens the horizon, but also increases the efficiency of the brain in virtually all spheres of human activity …

Source: unknown

Translated by: Dmitriy Kushnir

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