Reading really does make your brain bigger!
One key finding was that participants who began reading for pleasure at an early age had a “moderately larger” overall brain area and volume. This included regions crucial for cognitive function. Twelve hours a week was identified as the ideal amount of reading time; beyond this, researchers did not observe any additional benefits.
“Reading isn’t just a pleasurable experience – it’s widely accepted that it inspires thinking and creativity, increases empathy and reduces stress. But on top of this, we found significant evidence that it’s linked to important developmental factors in children, improving their cognition, mental health, and brain structure, which are cornerstones for future learning and well-being,” says Professor Barbara Sahakian from the Department of Psychiatry in a media release.