What Reading Really Does for the Brain

With the explosive growth of visual interactive media, some bloggers have been contemplating the possible impending the death of books, but don't go hanging crepe, yet.

The printed word is tried and true and less glamorous, but the depths of its effects on the brain are greater than almost anyone might have guessed.

Look below to see what the brain does when it reads a word like "cinnamon".

When test subjects read odoriferous words like cinnamon, smell-related pathways became activated throughout the brain. So your brain doesn't need a virtual reality simulation, it just needs to read.

It's like the finding that reading action words stimulates movement-specific areas of the brain. When you read the word "kick", the leg movement area of your brain becomes activated, while reading the word "pick" activates the area that moves your hand.

Because reading directly activates sensory and motor areas associated with words, it may also stir up a greater diversity of personal responses and memories.

Reading Cinnamon Activates Smelling Areas of Brain
Eide Neurolearning Blog: What Reading Does for the Mind - and How Gifted Dyslexics Defy the Matthew Effect
Eide Neurolearning Blog: Brain of the Blogger
The book is dead


  1. That's amazing! But the word couldn't actually make me smell cinnamon could it? Even if I tried to focus and repeat the word.

  2. It cannot make you smell more of the cinnamon odour than you have memorised. Probably just enough to recognise it.