I'm making a list of cognitive and behavioural neuroscience studies of how we physiologically internalise story. I've not yet read these studies, I'm not sure I would understand them, but I have read books where the authors discuss them.
on empathy and physical manifestations of it:
pg 208 Rose: Pellegrino et al (1992), "Understanding Motor Events: A Neuropsychological Study," Experimental Brain Research 91.1 (Oct), 176-80.
Monkey experiment in which monkeys see and do as what they are watching -- the same neurons fire when they are watching as doing.
pg 208 Rose: Iacoboni et al (1999) "Cortical Mechanisms of Human Imitation" Science 286 (December) 2526-28.
Same effect in humans as monkeys (as above)
pg 209 Rose: Singer et al (2004) "Empathy for Pain Involves the Affective but Not Sensory Components of Pain" Science 303 (Feb) 1157-62.
pg 209 Rose: Singer et al (2006) "Empathic Neural Responses Are Modulated by the Perceived Farirness of Others" Nature 439 (Jan), 466-69.
supporting evidence from above studies in similar studies regarding pain: same neurons fire but without physical manifestation of it.
pg 210 Rose: Decety and Jackson, "Social-Neuroscience Perspective on Empathy" Current Directions in Psychological Science 15.2 (May), 54-58.
basically, is this, does this constitute empathy? inconclusive.
In her book, Davidson uses the same studies but offers other support, as noted below. What's interesting about Davidson's perspective is that she's writing about learning and attentions in the age of 'digital disruption.'
Chp2 ft notes 14-16 the following studies appear:
Rizzolatti et al., "Premotor Cortex and the Recognition of Motor Actions," Cognitive Brian Research 3 (1996): 131-41;
Gallese et al., "Action Recognition in the Premotor Cortex," Brain 119 no 2 (1996): 593-610;
Fogassi et al., "Pareital Lobe: From Action Organisation to Intention Understanding," Science 308 no 5722 (April 2005): 662-66.
Rizzolatti and Craighero, "The Mirro Neuron System," Annual Review of Neuroscience 27 (2004): 169-192.
Rizzolatti and Arbib, "Language Within Our Grasp," Trends in Neurosciences 21, no 5 (1998): 188-94
Iacoboni et al., "Cortical Mechanisms of Human Imitation," Science 286 n 5449 (Dec 1999): 2526-28.
Brothers et al., " Response of Neurons in the Macaque Amygdala to Complex Social Stimuli," Behavioural Brain Research 41 no 3 (1990): 199-213.
Campbell Histological Studies on the Localisation of Cerebral Function (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1905).
Gallese and Lakoff, "The Brain's Concepts: The Sole of the Sensory Motor System in Conceptual Knowledge" Cognitive Neuropsychology 22, no-3-4 (2005) 455-79.
Gazzola and Keysers, "The Observation and Execution of Actions Share Motor Somatorsensory Voxels in All Tested Subjects: Single-Single Subject Analyses of Unsmoothed fMRI data," Cerebral Cortex 19 no 6 (2009): 1239-55.
Ramachandran, "Mirror Neurons and Imitation Learning as the Driving Force Behind 'The Great Leap Forward' in Human Evolution," Edge Foundation.
Doidge, "the Brain that Changes Itself" American Journal of Bioethics 8, no 1 (2008): 62-63.
Gallese et al "A Unifying View of the Basis of Social Cognition," Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8 no 9 (2004): 396-403.
Also of interest as cited by Davidson:
"Action Video Games and Informal Education: Effects and Strategies for Dividing Visual Attention," Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 15.1 (1994): 105-123.
Green and Bavelier, "Effect of Action Video Games on the Spatial Distribution of Spatiovisual Attention," Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 32 no 6 (2009): 1465.
Anything to add?
In Wolf, M. (2008). Proust and the Squid. CPI Group: London.
Maryann Wolf address the neurological structure and function of the brain when it reads. I like to think that there are applications as yet undiscovered for digital literacy based on the way that we know the brain to wire itself for reading.
p 217: L-H Tan et al. (2000). "Brain Activation in the Processing of Chinese Characters and Words: Funcitonal MRI Study." Human Brain Mapping. 10.1 pp16-27.
L-HTan et al. (2003). "Neural Systems of Second Language Reading Are Shaped by Native Language." Human Brain Mapping. 18.3 pp 158-66.
The way we process our mother tongue versus other languages is different; people who speak Chinese (or other pictoral lanuguages) first, their brains are wired differently when processing language: oral, spatial, visual processing implications
pg 220 McEneaney, J. (2006). "Agent Based Literacy Theory." Reading Research Quarterly. 41. pp 352-371.
discusses online literacy, agency, and new roles for reader as author, also changing ways we interpret text
pg 220 Rose, D. (forthcoming) "Learning in a Digital Age." In K Fischer and T Katzir, eds., Usable Knowledge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Examines the role of digital 'texts' in learning.