WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?
Veronica: 2010 Hogue Cellars Pinot Grigio
2011 Nebula Awards Nominees Announced Thanks David!
BARE YOUR SWORD
TV, MOVIES AND VIDEO GAMES
Tom finished MORAV by Fon Davis
Dear V & T,
I've been catching up on a few weeks of podcasts, so feel free to ignore this if you've moved on from the ""is listening to an audiobook really reading?"" issue.
My relevant background is that I am a cognitive neuroscientist and an avid audiobook listener (I joined audible.com in 2001...)
Anyway, from a scientific perspective, all the claims that brain handles audio differenetly from the written word are true but entirely meaningless to this debate.
The problem is that unless you have some well-formed argument about what a difference in neural patterns signfiies, its meaningless to base any claim by stating simply that the ""brain handles x differnetly from y"". The reason for this is that, at some level, the brain handles nearly everything differently from everything else.
For example, reading aloud and reading silently activate the brain in different ways. As does reading reading in your native tounge vs. a newly learned langauge. Same with braille vs printed words. Or with reading off paper vs. off a computer monitor (neural activity can actually get entrained to the refresh rate). Brain activity in ""fast readers"" can differ from that of ""slow readers."" Kids' brains handle reading differently from adult brains. Brain activity during reading can change following a stroke... And so on. If there is one ""right"" kind of brain activity for reading, there is probably only one person who has ever really read (my money is with Jonathan Franzen….)
Point being: saying that brain activity is different when listening vs. ""reading"" tells us nothing particularly useful.
On the other hand, much more meaningful questions could be asked, like:
Do people remember the text better when it is read to them vs. when they read it themselves?Are details remembered better?Does the author intent come through better in one medium vs. another? Are people more likely to ""skim"" in one medium vs. another?After some time do people forget how they ""read"" the book? (that is, years afterwards, is the content stored seperately from the delivery method).
These are actually answerable questions and it would be interesting if someone did this research. But I can say from my own experience that there are times when audio is clearly the ""better"" method. One obvious example, is that I know how to pronounce character names and places.
Anyway, love the show,
Hi Tom and Veronica,
Love the S&L podcast, keep up to good work.Brandon Sanderson posted a blog entry about the release date of A MEMORY OF LIGHT
As a Wheel of Time fan, I can't wait, hope it doesn't get delayed but i respect the need to finish this off right.
BTW: are my recommendations for an S&L book pick
Sword: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.
Laser The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
Veronica, thanks for introducing me the Alex Craft series in your new book club, looking forward for more good stuff.
Lastly here is book rec I think you will both enjoy immensely but probably doesn't fit the book club profile, it takes place in a post Zombie outbreak world in which civilization didn't collapse largely thanks to bloggers and the lessons learned from George Romero! the book is called Feed by Mira Grant (Newsflesh Trilogy #1) it's a clever, intelligent book, just look at the cover.
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