Reading is a powerful tool to expand the mind. A good book can light us up on every level: mind, body, and spirit. Reading can even act as a digital detox for us if we “kick it old school” and get lost in a paper copy. In addition to these benefits, reading has positive effects on our brain. What processes are taking place in our brain when we learn new things?
How Your Brain Benefits From Reading
Reading in any capacity is an amazing workout for our brain and it doesn’t matter whether it’s fiction or nonfiction. Stanford University researchers found that close literary reading in particular gives your brain a workout in multiple complex cognitive functions, while pleasure reading increases blood flow to different areas of the brain.
When we read, we are naturally pay attention and recreate each word, each sentence, each paragraph, each page, individually and then collectively into a narration we can understand, boosting multiple areas of cognitive functionality. Having to remember multiple storylines, plots, and characters lengthens and strengthens our attention span.
As we read, we exercise our working memory. Improved working memory also involves strengthened recall, as our visual and auditory processes are stimulated as we picture the words, sounds, and actions as we read.
But what's even more exciting is the research revealing that the learning associated with reading prompts neurons to fire in our brain, creating a light show of stimulation where new neural pathways can be formed. In a nutshell: reading can rewire your brain.
Reading prompts neurons to fire in our brain, creating a light show of stimulation where new neural pathways can be formed.
Study after study confirms that reading in any capacity, in any genre, stimulates the brain while exercising a wide range of neural areas. And as Neurohackers we are all about any task that boosts cognitive health. We frequently get asked by our community: “what are you reading right now?” To deliver on that request we have created a Goodreads Bookshelf featuring our favorite reads.
Go ahead, browse our ever-growing list of books we love and set time aside each day to read. Your brain will thank you.
We're only spotlighting ten of our favorite reads here. To see our entire bookshelf (we update the shelf monthly!) visit our profile on Goodreads. For a more intimate chat about recent books be sure to follow us on Instagram, where we share what we're currently reading with our book-loving community.
Browse our bookshelf in its entirety:
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