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Brain Connect. 2013;3(6):590-600. doi: 10.1089/brain.2013.0166. Epub 2013 Oct 9.

Short- and long-term effects of a novel on connectivity in the brain.

Author information

1
1 Department of Economics, Center for Neuropolicy, Emory University , Atlanta, Georgia.

Abstract

We sought to determine whether reading a novel causes measurable changes in resting-state connectivity of the brain and how long these changes persist. Incorporating a within-subjects design, participants received resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans on 19 consecutive days. First, baseline resting state data for a "washin" period were taken for each participant for 5 days. For the next 9 days, participants read 1/9th of a novel during the evening and resting-state data were taken the next morning. Finally, resting-state data for a "wash-out" period were taken for 5 days after the conclusion of the novel. On the days after the reading, significant increases in connectivity were centered on hubs in the left angular/supramarginal gyri and right posterior temporal gyri. These hubs corresponded to regions previously associated with perspective taking and story comprehension, and the changes exhibited a timecourse that decayed rapidly after the completion of the novel. Long-term changes in connectivity, which persisted for several days after the reading, were observed in bilateral somatosensory cortex, suggesting a potential mechanism for "embodied semantics."

PMID:
23988110
PMCID:
PMC3868356
DOI:
10.1089/brain.2013.0166
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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