How literature — yes, literature — can help you better connect with others - Deepstash

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Literature helps us read the room

Literature helps us read the room

Are we frustrated of sympathetic with Hamlet's reluctance to avenge his father? When we read literature, we compare the main character's actions to what we'd do in a similar situation.

We develop social sensitivity as we practice our ability to take on another's point of view.

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Brain areas that engage when we read

A study showed that participants who read literature had an increase in blood to the brain areas for processing language and in the regions that had nothing to do with processing language.

For example, if you read about running through a forest, your frontal lobe's motor cortex that coordinate the body's movement lights up in the same way as if you were actually running.

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Practical application to increased brain connectivity

One study demonstrated that the empathy we feel for characters in a novel could make people less racist.

Even children can improve their opinions about stigmatised groups through reading, as proven in another study using the first Harry Potter book in Italy, a country where immigrants are often stigmatised.

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Read books because it's good

Don't just read literature because it's good for you. Read because it's good.

Reading helps us feel, but it also helps us feel better. Books make us feel less isolated.

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