BPS research digest has reported on an interesting study that has found that lifetime reading of fiction leads to enhanced empathetic abilities, while reading non-fiction predominantly leads to the converse effects. although, the study suffers from some limitations ( the usual correlation is not causation and empathetic people might be more drawn to fiction rather than it being the other way round) as well as methodological constraints ( it used familiarity of fiction and non-fiction writers’ name as a criterion for exposure to that genre: by this measure I would do well in both cases, as I was a very prolific fiction reader earlier, but in the recent years have been reading non-fiction almost exclusively…so my familiarity with fiction authors doesn’t reflect my current fiction exposure), but still the results are tantalizing and the implications profound.

For me that raises the question of whether I should also occasionally post some of my short stories on this blog, in a bid to balance the drop in empathy that my readers will undergo by reading my non-fiction!!

There is another interesting study highlighted in this week’s BPS digest, that reveals that a thicker corpus-callosum is required for a right-brain hemisphericality (is it that a thicker corpus callosum ensures that the right mechanism is in place (more communication between the hemispheres) to ensure that the more feminine, talkative πŸ™‚ , holistic right brain is able to become dominant ? Or is it the other way round, that right brain dominance causes more interconnections between the hemispheres and leads to a thicker callosum?)

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