Tag Archives: prose vs. poetry

You Are What You Read

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In a piece called “You Are What You Read: Research Reveals the Importance of What You’re Reading,” Alexa Erickson seems to be stating what most people already know; I don’t need research to tell me that if one person only reads The Wall Street Journal and another person only reads works of Jane Austen, they’re 99.9% likely to be profoundly different human beings.

Yet Ms. Erickson goes beyond the obvious and even gets scientific about the topic, drawing on a recent study published in the International Journal of Business Administration. She begins by differentiating light reading (“comprehending and decoding words”) and deep reading (“slow, methodical, emotional and morally complex”). Going further, she compares literary prose to poetry and finds that, scientifically speaking, reading poetry actually “activates the posterior cingulate cortex and medial temporal lobes – both of which are linked to self-analysis.”

Check out the above link if you want to learn some more interesting facts and science about the whole reading experience.

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