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The Brain and Literature

[via Dr. Jerry Ward, Jr.]

Dr. Ward writes:

David Gooblar’s short article “Narrative in the Classroom” encourages us to think about what we are transmitting to our students when we teach stories. By following links in his article, I was able to discover the important neuroscience report on “Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain.”   

I would like to know from my Chinese colleagues whether similar experiments have been conducted by Chinese scientists.

As we seek to develop precision in our discussions of literature, we might want to ask whether a poem that is not a narrative has some specialized impact on the brain’s left temporal cortex which needs to be explained by neuroscientists. I think we might address such a question to the Emory University Center for Neuropolicy.  I have suggested in several talks that we need to collaborate with neuroscientists on research projects.  Perhaps the tentative conclusions about poetry would be significantly different from those made about the novel.

Thoughts are welcome.