Via Futurity, researchers at Emory University’s Center for Neuropolicy are exploring what happens to your brain when you read a novel.
It’s a small study, but intriguing — and reinforces my sense that what we experience internally is, in some respects, indistinguishable from what we experience in the 3D world:
“The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist,” Berns says. “We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else’s shoes in a figurative sense. Now we’re seeing that something may also be happening biologically.”
Read a book, and the protag becomes your avatar :-)