All your life, you’ve been told that reading is good for you. But, it now appears that reading is about so much more than gathering information, using your imagination, or simple entertainment. In fact, scientists have discovered that reading, in fact, changes the brain. In this article, we outline 3 ways reading helps cognitive function.
What Is Cognitive Function?
Before looking at our 3 ways reading helps cognitive function, we need to outline what cognitive function is. Included here are verbal fluency, processing speed, memory and learning, working memory, and executive functions. So, cognitive function covers many crucial brain processes.
This means that improving cognitive function can also sharpen all these mental processes. What impact reading has on cognitive function has been the subject of much research.
3 Ways Reading Helps Cognitive Function
#1 – Reading Novels Changes the Brain
In a recent study, scientists established that reading fiction produces changes in the brain. As both sides of the brain become engaged in the reading process, connectivity improves. This goes on to benefit cognitive function long after the individual has stopped reading.
#2 – Reading Produces New White Matter
In the same study, researchers also discovered that reading creates new white matter in the brain. As a result, the different parts of the brain communicate better with each other, again enhancing cognitive function.
#3 – Reading Helps to Sharpen the Memory
According to scientist, Ken Pugh, PhD, the brain is involved in so many complex processes during reading that this workout helps to improve the memory.
Much research is available to highlight that reading helps cognitive function. These findings are significant particularly in discovering ways to help maintain brain function in elderly people.