Shakespeare, Wordsworth Labeled Rocket-Boosts for the Brain

Reading works by these authors is more beneficial than self-help books

By on January 14th, 2013 21:01 GMT

A team of researchers from Liverpool claims that, after using brain scans to investigate what happens inside an individual's head whenever he/she is reading works by Shakespeare and Wordsworth, they reached the conclusion that said authors double as so-called rocket-boosts for the brain.

These specialists went as far as to argue that, all things considered, the prose written by these two authors is more beneficial to a person's psychological wellbeing than most self-help books now available on the market are.

As they explain, this is because the language and the sentence patterns employed by both Shakespeare and Wordsworth are fairly complex and even complicated. 

This means that the human brain must really make an effort to comprehend the message it finds itself faced with.

Daily Mail quotes English professor Philip Davis, who took part in this research and who wished to draw attention to the fact that, “Serious literature acts like a rocket-booster to the brain.”

Furthermore, “The research shows the power of literature to shift mental pathways, to create new thoughts, shapes and connections in the young and the staid alike.”

Professor Phillip Davis made it quite clear that Shakespeare, Wordsworth and other authors similar to them can only up one's cognitive and even emotional abilities if they are read in their original versions, and not in more modern and simplistic ones.

Thus, the scans performed on the 30 volunteers who agreed to take part in this study showed that the electrical activity levels in their brains only went up to a considerable extent when they were reading the more “difficult” versions of these authors' prose.

“This is the argument for serious language in serious literature for serious human situations, instead of self-help books or the easy reads that merely reinforce predictable opinions and conventional self-images,” professor Phillip Davis commented with respect to this study.

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