Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fascinating MRI Study of People Reading:

Thanks go to Erin Hoffman from the Writer's SiG.

Readers build vivid mental simulations of narrative situations, brain scans suggest

By Gerry Everding

A new brain-imaging study is shedding light on what it means to "get lost" in a good book — suggesting that readers create vivid mental simulations of the sounds, sights, tastes and movements described in a textual narrative while simultaneously activating brain regions used to process similar experiences in real life.
"Psychologists and neuroscientists are increasingly coming to the conclusion that when we read a story and really understand it, we create a mental simulation of the events described by the story," said Jeffrey M. Zacks, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences and of radiology in the School of Medicine, director of the Dynamic Cognition Laboratory in the Department of Psychology and a co-author of the study.

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