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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » The Invisible Hand Approves

The Invisible Hand Approves

Reading Kafka Improves Learning, Suggests Psychology Study

According to research by psychologists at UC Santa Barbara and the University of British Columbia, exposure to the surrealism in, say, Kafka’s “The Country Doctor” or Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” enhances the cognitive mechanisms that oversee implicit learning functions. The researchers’ findings appear in an article published in the September issue of the journal Psychological Science.

“The idea is that when you’re exposed to a meaning threat –– something that fundamentally does not make sense –– your brain is going to respond by looking for some other kind of structure within your environment,” said Travis Proulx, a postdoctoral researcher at UCSB and co-author of the article. “And, it turns out, that structure can be completely unrelated to the meaning threat.”

It’s like weight-lifting, muscle memory. You can train your brain to find patterns – something our brains are wired to do naturally and eagerly, of course. The downside to this could be along the lines of Apophenia.

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