We are what we read? From Fox News:
It’s a potentially sucky situation. The vampire craze in teen literature – exemplified by the “Twilight” book series – could be affecting the dynamic workings of the teenage brain in ways scientists don’t yet understand.
“We don’t know exactly how literature affects the brain, but we know that it does,” said Maria Nikolajeva, a Cambridge University professor of literature. “Some new findings have identified spots in the brain that respond to literature and art.”
Scientists, authors and educators met in Cambridge, England, Sept. 3-5 for a conference organized by Nikolajeva to discuss how young-adult books and movies affect teenagers’ minds.
“For young people, everything is so strange, and you cannot really say why you react to things – it’s a difficult period to be a human being,” Nikolajeva told LiveScience. The conference, she said, brought together “people from different disciplines to share what we know about this turbulent period we call adolescence.”
Sessions included “What Is It About Good Girls and Vampires?” addressing the huge popularity of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series and other vampire-themed books.
Teenagers’ minds are more susceptible than adult minds to influence – from peers and experiences as well as from books, movies and music, researchers say.
“What we have learned over the past decade is that the teenage brain processes information differently than a more mature brain,” said conference presenter Karen Coats, a professor of English at Illinois State University who integrates neuroscience into her research. “Brain imaging shows that teens are more likely to respond to situations emotionally, and they are less likely to consider consequences through rational forethought.”…
[continues at Fox News]