Skip to main content


Breaking News! Reading is good for your brain, increasing blood flow and bathing your brain in nutrients, oxygen, and others things believed to promote higher cognitive-emotional processing. In Why Reading Is Good For Your Brain, we learn scientists have been researching the question of "what is black and white and read all over?" They have discovered that books, and the invention of written language may turn out to have been positive advances for the human species, after all, despite much previous anecdotal evidence to the contrary.  

To quantify the claim that school teachers have been making for centuries, a group of Stanford neurobiologists, led by literary scholar Natalie Phillips, examined blood flow in the brains of subjects who were instructed to read passages from Jane Austen's "Mansfield Park" while inside MRI machines.

The findings were unexpected: Subjects were asked to read leisurely at first, and then to make a shift towards more critical reading. In both instances, Philips noticed an increase in blood flow that exceeded "just work and play." In the case of more critical reading--the type you'd engage in while writing an essay or preparing for a test--blood flow increased beyond executive function regions, or those areas responsible for problem-solving. ...

In spite of these findings, Philips warned against "historical nostalgia, or assuming those of the 18th century were less distracted than we are today." She asserts that Enlightenment-era writers (her area of expertise) were just as concerned about withering attention spans as we are today.

Yes, ever since the invention of electricity, motorized mechanical devices, mini-skirts, and the discovery of radio waves scholars have fretted about how these distractions, and the infernal devices and activities enabled by them, were going to lead to the decline of western civilization. And, they seem to have been correct, for the most part.

But, now scientist have also discovered that "video games have been proven to be good for your brain, too!" So technology, and progress may turn out to be a net-plus after all.  

PhotobucketUnleashing The Ryan

Seeing how writing turns out to be even better than reading for turbo-charging our brains, I have decided to start a new graphic novella, coming soon, called "Unleashing The Ryan." This idea was inspired by Smoh, Bailey, and several other commenters in my post, earlier today, Romney Campaign Searches for a New Strategy - Ryan Wants To Be Unleashed! Take The Bag Off His Head and a few days ago, If President Obama Wins the Republican Party as We Know It Is Dead says Brian Fischer warning conservatives that if they didn't take the bag off the head of Paul Ryan, and the sock out of his mouth, Mitt Romney could lose, and the Republican Party could be dead forever.

Oh, yes, I've also noticed that my own motivation for writing and commenting is greatly enhanced by receiving tips and rec's.  Speaking on behalf of all the non-front page writers, few things are as discouraging as pouring your heart into writing a post, and then getting very little attention. So, I am proposing a new Keynsian Kossask brain and mind stimulus program where we all give 20% more recommendations, and tips each day, especially to any writer trying their best, with less than 10 recs.  

And, you can start here with mine.  Thank you very much.  I'm feeling my brain warming up, and feeling smarter already just in anticipation. I know some may be worried about "recommendation inflation," however my neuro-chemical economics professor friend reassures me that with the resulting boost in collective Kossack brainpower, future readers will be able to figure out how to adjust their rec'd based  evaluation systems, and we could also develop an index to adjust between "real" and "nominal" recommendation counts.  

PhotobucketHypnotoad Says You Will Support Collective Kossack Brain Development by Recommending This Post, and Following The Hounddog!  And, Rec'ing at least 20% more Kossack writers per day, as well!


Originally posted to HoundDog on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 08:05 PM PDT.

Also republished by Keynesian Kossacks and Hydrant.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site