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Shakespeare, classics 'boost the brain'

研究:阅读古典文学可促进大脑发展

科技 来源:China Daily
   2013-01-20
【导读】最近的一项研究揭示,阅读莎士比亚与华兹华斯的作品好比大脑的“火箭助推器”,比读一些自助书籍还要管用。

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The works of Shakespeare and Wordsworth are “rocket-boosters” to the brain and better therapy than self-help books, researchers will say this week.
本周将发布的一项研究揭示,阅读莎士比亚与华兹华斯的作品好比大脑的“火箭助推器”,比读一些自助书籍还要管用。

Scientists, psychologists and English academics at Liverpool University have found that reading the works of the Bard and other classical writers has a beneficial effect on the mind, catches the reader’s attention and triggers moments of self-reflection.
来自利物浦大学的科学家、心理学家和英文教授发现,阅读莎士比亚及其他古典作家的作品对心智发展大有裨益,这些作品能够抓住读者的注意力,引发读者的自我反思。

Using scanners, they monitored the brain activity of volunteers as they read works by William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, T.S Eliot and others.
通过使用扫描仪,他们监测到接受实验的志愿者在阅读威廉•莎士比亚、威廉•华兹华斯、T•S•艾略特和其他作家的作品时的大脑活动。

They then “translated” the texts into more “straightforward”, modern language and again monitored the readers’ brains as they read the words.
他们随后将这些文本“翻译”为更为“通俗易懂”的现代语言,然后又对读者在阅读这些文字时的大脑活动进行了监测。

Scans showed that the more “challenging” prose and poetry set off far more electrical activity in the brain than the more pedestrian versions.
经扫描发现,散文和诗歌越“具挑战性”,大脑中的电流活动就愈加频繁,而那些通俗化的版本则达不到这种效果。

Scientists were able to study the brain activity as it responded to each word and record how it “lit up” as the readers encountered unusual words, surprising phrases or difficult sentence structure.
科学家们能够研究大脑对每一个词语做出反应时的活动,并记录下读者在遇到生僻词语、新奇短语或复杂的句子结构时大脑如何“被激活”。

This “lighting up” of the mind lasts longer than the initial electrical spark, shifting the brain to a higher gear, encouraging further reading.
大脑的这一“激活”状态比最初的电火花持续时间更长,让大脑的转动更高速,鼓励读者继续往下阅读。

The research also found that reading poetry, in particular, increases activity in the right hemisphere of the brain, an area concerned with “autobiographical memory”, helping the reader to reflect on and reappraise their own experiences in light of what they have read. The academics said this meant the classics were more useful than self-help books.
研究还发现,阅读书籍,尤其是诗歌,可以增加与“自传体记忆”有关的大脑右半球的活动频率,有助于读者根据阅读内容对个人经历进行反思和重新评价。学者们表示,这意味着阅读古典作品比阅读自助类书籍更有帮助。

Philip Davis, an English professor who has worked on the study with the university’s magnetic resonance centre, will tell a conference this week: “Serious literature acts like a rocket-booster to the brain.
和利物浦大学的磁共振中心一同致力于此项研究的英文教授菲利普•戴维斯本周将在一次会议上宣称:“严肃文学的作用相当于大脑的火箭助推器。

"The research shows the power of literature to shift mental pathways, to create new thoughts, shapes and connections in the young and thestaid alike.”
“研究显示,文学作品对年轻人和中老年人都能产生强大的力量,它可以转变思维方式,开拓新思路,引发新联想。”

(Translator & Editor: 21英语 Aaron)
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