There is no doubt that stories have a big impact on how we think-and-feel. They influence attention, memory, motivation, learning, decision-making, creativity and a host of other mental activities. Some say, a specific story has even change their life. How stories work their psychological magic is of central concern to cognitive designers so I am always on the look out for new scientific studies that offer insights.
For example, recent research from the Center for Neuropolicy at Emory University suggests that stories not only impact our psychology they may have lasting impact on the activation and wiring of our brains. The researchers asked 21 undergraduates to read Robert Harris’s novel Pomepii and found that neural changes persisted in their brains for five days.
One interesting finding:
“The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist,”
Persistent changes in biology signal just how powerful the effects of story are.
Interested to hear from readers about stories that have changed their lives / brains.