Monday 19 March 2012

'Your Brain on Fiction': Raymond Mar, Keith Oatley, and colleagues in the New York Times this weekend!

Annie Murphy Paul has written a lovely piece this weekend on 'Your Brain on Fiction' on page SR6 of the New York edition of the New York Times.

You may read it there, but I have provided the references described (but not cited) in her essay.

Boulenger, V., Hauk, O., &  Pulvermüller, F. (2009). Grasping ideas with the motor system: Semantic somototopy in idiom comprehension. Cerebral Cortex 19: 1905-1914.

González, J., Barros-Loscertales, A., Pulvermüller, F., Meseguer, V., Sanjuán, A., Belloch, V., & Ávila, C. (2006). Reading cinnamon activates olfactory brain regions. Neuroimage, 32(2), 906–912.

Mar, R. A. (2011). The neural bases of social cognition and story comprehension. Annual Review of Psychology, 62, 103–134.

Mar, R. A., Oatley, K., & Peterson, J. B. (2009). Exploring the link between reading fiction and empathy: Ruling out individual differences and examining outcomes. Communications, 34, 407–428.

Mar, R. A., Oatley, K., Hirsh, J., dela Paz, J., & Peterson, J. B. (2006). Bookworms versus nerds: Exposure to fiction versus non-fiction, divergent associations with social ability, and the simulation of fictional social worlds. Journal of Research in Personality, 40, 694–712.
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Melwyk said...

Loved this article and have shared it with many of my library colleagues...proud of our Canadian experts!

Keith Oatley said...

Thank you very much, Melwyk. Yes it was nice to get this piece in the New York Times, and perhaps it means that the idea that fiction is psychologically important is catching on.

Lana Cook said...

Thanks for posting the sources. I'm writing my dissertation in the experience of reading the fantastic, and just came across your work. Very fascinating. Looking forward to reading your book.

Keith Oatley said...

Thank you very much Lana; I am glad we have been helpful. And I hope you enjoy the book.

Assistant Sup'tEJ said...

I am wondering if writing fiction also leads to increased empathy. I am a doctoral student studying the effects of blogging on school administrators. I was wondering if you had done any work on writing. I really enjoyed the article. Thanks.

Ellen Semel
Hofstra University

Raymond A. Mar said...

Hi Ellen,
Great question. Jamie Pennebaker has done a bunch of fascinating work on personal writing that might be relevant to your interests. Marjorie Taylor also did a very interesting study that found that professional writers score higher than average on self-reported empathy. Please e-mail me if you'd like a copy of this study (e-mail in profile).

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