I just ran across a link to a 2012 article, “Your Brain on Fiction,” by Annie Murphy Paul about the importance of reading literature. Did you know that reading descriptive writing not only stimulates the language-processing area of the brain, but also the related sensory regions?

Furthermore, reading well-written fiction also improves the reader’s social-emotional understanding.  Dr. Keith Oatley, a professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto, observes that, “Just as computer simulations can help us get to grips with complex problems such as flying a plane or forecasting the weather, so novels, stories and dramas can help us understand the complexities of social life.”

You can download a pdf below to read the whole fascinating article! Also, check out my post on C.S. Lewis’s argument for why it is important to read great literature.

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