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Author Notes:

Address correspondence to: Gregory S. Berns Department of Economics Center for Neuropolicy Emory University 36 Eagle Row Atlanta, GA 30322 E-mail: gberns@emory.edu


Research Funding:

This research was supported by a grant from DARPA (D11AP00289).


  • connectivity
  • fMRI
  • reading
  • resting state

Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain


Journal Title:

Brain Connectivity


Volume 3, Number 6


, Pages 590-600

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


We sought to determine whether reading a novel causes measurable changes in resting-state connectivity of the brain and how long these changes persist. Incorporating a within-subjects design, participants received resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans on 19 consecutive days. First, baseline resting state data for a “washin” period were taken for each participant for 5 days. For the next 9 days, participants read 1/9th of a novel during the evening and resting-state data were taken the next morning. Finally, resting-state data for a “wash-out” period were taken for 5 days after the conclusion of the novel. On the days after the reading, significant increases in connectivity were centered on hubs in the left angular/supramarginal gyri and right posterior temporal gyri. These hubs corresponded to regions previously associated with perspective taking and story comprehension, and the changes exhibited a timecourse that decayed rapidly after the completion of the novel. Long-term changes in connectivity, which persisted for several days after the reading, were observed in bilateral somatosensory cortex, suggesting a potential mechanism for “embodied semantics.”

Copyright information:

© 2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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