Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.

 

­Mind games: Reading classics stimulates brain activity

Published time: January 14, 2013 14:21
Edited time: January 14, 2013 18:23
Reading classics stimulates brain activity (AFP Photo / John D Mchugh)

Reading classics stimulates brain activity (AFP Photo / John D Mchugh)

British scientists have proved that reading Shakespeare and other classics can stimulate the mind and has a beneficial effect on brain activity.

Scientists at Liverpool University have monitored the brain activity of a number of volunteers while they were reading works by William Shakespeare, T.S Eliot and others, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Then the original texts were altered and “translated” to simpler modern language and given to the readers again.

The data recorded during reading both versions of the text proved that the more “sophisticated” the language in both prose and poetry the more electrical activity the reader’s brain showed.

Scientists tracked the brain activity caused by certain words and saw that unusual words and complicated sentence structures stimulated the brain.

“Serious literature acts like a rocket-booster to the brain. The research shows the power of literature to shift mental pathways, to create new thoughts, shapes and connections in the young and the staid alike,” The Daily Telegraph quotes Professor Philip Davis involved in the study as saying.

According to the study poetry particularly stimulates activity in the right hemisphere of the brain responsible for self-reflection, creativity and imagination.

“Poetry is not just a matter of style. It is a matter of deep versions of experience that add the emotional and biographical to the cognitive,” Professor Davis said.  

Sophisticated and unusual words in the text also prompted better concentration of the reader after they’ve come across these words.

The researchers’ conclusion that reading the classics is better and more useful for the mind than easy-reads might not be a surprise to many avid readers.

Comments

Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or

Name

Password

Show password

Register

or Register

Request a new password

Send

or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:

OK

or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile

X

Name

New password

Retype new password

Current password

Save

Cancel

Follow us