According to research, so an article in the Telegraph reports (Julie Henry, 17/01/13), reading the classics can give the brain a boost in terms of producing more electrical activity.
Reading more challenging subjects such as the poetry of Wordsworth or the work of Shakespeare caused the monitoring of brain activity to light up, more so than less challenging material. An English professor working on the study is quoted as saying: “Serious literature acts like a rocket booster to the brain. The research shows the power of literature to shift mental pathways, to create new thoughts, shapes and connections in the young and staid alike.”
The research involving 30 volunteers showed that unfamiliar words caused brain activity to peak and primed the brain “for more attention.” Later the researchers intend to try to understand how psychology can be affected and whether or not there is any therapeutic benefit. Ian Stewart