Readers build vivid mental simulations of narrative situations, brain scans suggest

A new brain-imaging study is shedding light on what it means to “get lost” in a good book — suggesting that readers create vivid mental simulations of the sounds, sights, tastes and movements described in a textual narrative while simultaneously activating brain regions used to process similar experiences in real life.

Readers build vivid mental simulations of narrative situations, brain scans suggest

A new brain-imaging study is shedding light on what it means to “get lost” in a good book — suggesting that readers create vivid mental simulations of the sounds, sights, tastes and movements described in a textual narrative while simultaneously activating brain regions used to process similar experiences in real life.

Old habits, both good and bad, are hard to break, suggests study of human memory

Is this a “cup” or a “mug?”No matter how hard we try to change our behaviors, it’s the old ways that tend to win out over time, especially in situations where we’re rushed, stressed or overworked, suggests a new study of human memory from Washington University in St. Louis. The findings are bad news for people struggling to change harmful behaviors, such as smoking or overeating, and good news for people who establish healthy lifestyles at an early age. Even when we consciously try to put new good intentions into place, those previously learned habits remain stronger in more automatic, unconscious forms of memory.