Neuroscience & Reading

Have you ever wondered what happens to your brain when you read? Fatma Deniz, a  postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience in the Gallant Lab at UC Berkeley and former data science fellow with the Berkeley Institute for Data Science, says “At a time when more people are absorbing information via audiobooks, podcasts and even audio texts, our study shows that, whether they’re listening to or reading the same materials, they are processing semantic information similarly”. How cool is that!? Following up on our previous blog post about whether or not listening to audiobooks should be considered reading, we now have a definitive answer! 

According to, “The results can be viewed in an interactive, 3D, color-coded map, where words — grouped in such categories as visual, tactile, numeric, locational, violent, mental, emotional and social — are presented like vibrant butterflies on flattened cortices. The cortex is the coiled surface layer of gray matter of the cerebrum that coordinates sensory and motor information. The interactive 3D brain viewer is scheduled to go online this month”.

For more information, view the whole article here

-Katie Neylan, Head of Adult Services 

Steinbeck Story Uncovered

John Steinbeck is known best for his classic American novels Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath, set out in California.  His novels often tackled both social and economical issues, so it surprised the literary community to learn that an unpublished story of Steinbeck’s was found (set in Paris and actually pretty funny) taking place in a restaurant called “The Amiable Fleas.”

According to Hillel Italie, for the Washington Post, in the mid-1950s, Steinbeck traveled to Paris, where he wrote a series of columns for a French Newspaper entitled “One American in Paris.”  Interested in learning more?  Check out this article for the Washington Post here.

In honor of this literary find, why not take home one of Steinbeck’s novels to add to your reading?

Can’t decide which one you want to read?  We also have The Short Novels of John Steinbeck available for you to take home!

-Jessica Bielen, Adult Services Librarian