Science sorts out poetry...
#1
http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/10/10/...60555.html

Or does it? What poems did this handful choose? Were they very poemy? It does make entire sense, to me, but presumably, if one extends the definition of 'poetry' to unblocking the drain, it may fail. Thoughts?


Home » News » Technology News » Poetry: Music to the Mind


Poetry: Music to the Mind
By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on October 10, 2013

Poetry: Music to the MindComposers and singer-songwriters often classify their occupation as that of a poet, rather than a musician or entertainer. A new study now suggests that poetry affects areas of the brain in a way akin to music.

Scientists at the University of Exeter used state-of-the-art functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology to map the way the brain responds to poetry and prose.

The technology allows researchers to visualize which parts of the brain are activated to process various activities.

Experts say that this is the first study to specifically track differing responses in the brain to poetry and prose.

Researchers discovered activity in a “reading network” of brain areas which was activated in response to any written material. But they also found that more emotionally charged writing aroused several of the regions in the brain which respond to music.

These areas, predominantly on the right side of the brain, had previously been shown to give rise to the “shivers down the spine” caused by an emotional reaction to music.

The research is published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies.

Researchers found that when volunteers read one of their favorite passages of poetry, the areas of the brain associated with memory were stimulated more strongly than “reading areas,” indicating that reading a favorite passage is a kind of recollection.

In a specific comparison between poetry and prose, the team found evidence that poetry activates brain areas, such as the posterior cingulate cortex and medial temporal lobes, which have been linked to introspection.

Adam Zeman, Ph.D., a cognitive neurologist from the University of Exeter Medical School, worked with colleagues to carry out the study on 13 volunteers, all faculty members and senior graduate students in English.

Their brain activity was scanned and compared when reading literal prose such as an extract from a heating installation manual, evocative passages from novels, easy and difficult sonnets, as well as their favorite poetry.

Zeman said: “Some people say it is impossible to reconcile science and art, but new brain imaging technology means we are now seeing a growing body of evidence about how the brain responds to the experience of art.

“This was a preliminary study, but it is all part of work that is helping us to make psychological, biological, anatomical sense of art.”

Source: University of Exeter

Abstract of human brain photo by shutterstock.


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APA Reference
Nauert, R. (2013). Poetry: Music to the Mind. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 12, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/10/10/...60555.html
Reply
#2
Makes sense. Of course, some of the singer/songwriters who classify themselves as poets really do reinforce the opinion that the general public has about poets: ie, that they are utterly pretentious wankers.

Nonetheless, poetry must activate some of the higher order thought processes in order to be appreciated. Which is not to say that all things called poems are poetry... and also not to say that poetry is any different to any other well-produced, thought provoking artwork.
It could be worse
Reply
#3
Scientific proof.that art is.objective and that some poetry is prose with line breaks. Now I just need my portable MRI . . .
Reply
#4
i wonder if the same happens when we see a naked person, i''ve ogten classed certain wormen as poetry in motion (cliche i know Smile )

who says if it's good or bad poetry? to say singers are poets is a bit much. the same as poets aren't singers. (some of each are both of course) what is the purpose of the study? i'm not sure it will improve the quality of poetry Big Grin
Reply
#5
(10-13-2013, 07:46 AM)milo Wrote:  Scientific proof.that art is.objective and that some poetry is prose with line breaks. Now I just need my portable MRI . . .

Nope. It's more like: Preliminary study results show that


"13 volunteers, all faculty members and senior graduate students in English"

have similar subjective feelings and opinions. Earth-shattering.

-------------------------

"Their brain activity was scanned and compared when reading literal prose such as an extract from
a heating installation manual, evocative passages from novels, easy and difficult sonnets, as well
as their favourite poetry."

"The experience of reading varies markedly between differing texts which may be, for example,
primarily informative, musical, or moving."

Not as clear cut as the headlines proclaim.

Informative:
heating installation manual
difficult sonnets

Musical:
easy sonnets
evocative passages from novels
favourite poetry

Moving:
evocative passages from novels
favourite poetry
almost terse
Reply
#6
(10-13-2013, 07:13 PM)rayheinrich Wrote:  
(10-13-2013, 07:46 AM)milo Wrote:  Scientific proof.that art is.objective and that some poetry is prose with line breaks. Now I just need my portable MRI . . .

Nope. It's more like: Preliminary study results show that


"13 volunteers, all faculty members and senior graduate students in English"

have similar subjective feelings and opinions. Earth-shattering.

-------------------------

"Their brain activity was scanned and compared when reading literal prose such as an extract from
a heating installation manual, evocative passages from novels, easy and difficult sonnets, as well
as their favourite poetry."

"The experience of reading varies markedly between differing texts which may be, for example,
primarily informative, musical, or moving."

Not as clear cut as the headlines proclaim.

Informative:
heating installation manual
difficult sonnets

Musical:
easy sonnets
evocative passages from novels
favourite poetry

Moving:
evocative passages from novels
favourite poetry

You are . . . Slow to connect to sarcasm?
Reply
#7
(10-13-2013, 07:13 PM)rayheinrich Wrote:  
(10-13-2013, 07:46 AM)milo Wrote:  Scientific proof.that art is.objective and that some poetry is prose with line breaks. Now I just need my portable MRI . . .

Nope. It's more like: Preliminary study results show that


"13 volunteers, all faculty members and senior graduate students in English"

have similar subjective feelings and opinions. Earth-shattering.

-------------------------

"Their brain activity was scanned and compared when reading literal prose such as an extract from
a heating installation manual, evocative passages from novels, easy and difficult sonnets, as well
as their favourite poetry."

"The experience of reading varies markedly between differing texts which may be, for example,
primarily informative, musical, or moving."

Not as clear cut as the headlines proclaim.

Informative:
heating installation manual
difficult sonnets

Musical:
easy sonnets
evocative passages from novels
favourite poetry

Moving:
evocative passages from novels
favourite poetry

Thank you for that, Ray. I think the study would be interesting, but the abstract is crap. For example, ''evocative'' and ''difficult'' would need some clarifying. Who decided? Did the subjects decide that this or that was to be ticked as ''difficult''? Or did the researchers? I might v well regard a piece as difficult, which Matron would regard as simplistic nonsense. A London ex-pat living in Lesotho might well find a few clues as evocative of his, or even her, native city -red pillar-boxes, buses, cricket at the Oval --- whereas a native of Lesotho, although a speaker of perfect English, might have far less feelings aroused. (That last word was just for Billy) Smile

(10-13-2013, 09:13 AM)billy Wrote:  i wonder if the same happens when we see a naked person, i''ve ogten classed certain wormen as poetry in motion (cliche i know Smile )

who says if it's good or bad poetry? to say singers are poets is a bit much. the same as poets aren't singers. (some of each are both of course) what is the purpose of the study? i'm not sure it will improve the quality of poetry Big Grin

Of course, Billy. You have a niche here,I think. You could become a Poetry In Motion Poet.....geddit?Wink
Reply
#8
(10-14-2013, 02:38 AM)abu nuwas Wrote:  
(10-13-2013, 07:13 PM)rayheinrich Wrote:  
(10-13-2013, 07:46 AM)milo Wrote:  Scientific proof.that art is.objective and that some poetry is prose with line breaks. Now I just need my portable MRI . . .

Nope. It's more like: Preliminary study results show that


"13 volunteers, all faculty members and senior graduate students in English"

have similar subjective feelings and opinions. Earth-shattering.

-------------------------

"Their brain activity was scanned and compared when reading literal prose such as an extract from
a heating installation manual, evocative passages from novels, easy and difficult sonnets, as well
as their favourite poetry."

"The experience of reading varies markedly between differing texts which may be, for example,
primarily informative, musical, or moving."

Not as clear cut as the headlines proclaim.

Informative:
heating installation manual
difficult sonnets

Musical:
easy sonnets
evocative passages from novels
favourite poetry

Moving:
evocative passages from novels
favourite poetry

Thank you for that, Ray. I think the study would be interesting, but the abstract is crap. For example, ''evocative'' and ''difficult'' would need some clarifying. Who decided? Did the subjects decide that this or that was to be ticked as ''difficult''? Or did the researchers? I might v well regard a piece as difficult, which Matron would regard as simplistic nonsense. A London ex-pat living in Lesotho might well find a few clues as evocative of his, or even her, native city -red pillar-boxes, buses, cricket at the Oval --- whereas a native of Lesotho, although a speaker of perfect English, might have far less feelings aroused. (That last word was just for Billy) Smile

(10-13-2013, 09:13 AM)billy Wrote:  i wonder if the same happens when we see a naked person, i''ve ogten classed certain wormen as poetry in motion (cliche i know Smile )

who says if it's good or bad poetry? to say singers are poets is a bit much. the same as poets aren't singers. (some of each are both of course) what is the purpose of the study? i'm not sure it will improve the quality of poetry Big Grin

Of course, Billy. You have a niche here,I think. You could become a Poetry In Motion Poet.....geddit?Wink

They don't have to be in motion Billy, even as a still life a nude woman is poetry. (Attention Necrophiliacs: In a photo or painting, not dead!)
My new watercolor: 'Nightmare After Christmas'/Chris
Reply
#9
(10-13-2013, 08:44 PM)milo Wrote:  You are . . . Slow to connect to sarcasm?

No, just attempting to augment yours.
(Irony is a tricky business, no?)



(10-14-2013, 02:38 AM)abu nuwas Wrote:  Thank you for that, Ray. I think the study would be interesting, but the abstract is crap. For example, ''evocative'' and ''difficult'' would need some clarifying. Who decided? Did the subjects decide that this or that was to be ticked as ''difficult''? Or did the researchers? I might v well regard a piece as difficult, which Matron would regard as simplistic nonsense. A London ex-pat living in Lesotho might well find a few clues as evocative of his, or even her, native city -red pillar-boxes, buses, cricket at the Oval --- whereas a native of Lesotho, although a speaker of perfect English, might have far less feelings aroused. (That last word was just for Billy) Smile

Reminds me of astrology. Sequential brain scans (fMRI) and telescopes
provide information that is experimentally verifiable and that serves as
the basis for all manner of hypotheses. But the fact that the future
positions of planets can be predicted does not prove (or disprove)
that these positions can be used to predict what my day will be like
tomorrow.
almost terse
Reply
#10
Reminds me of astrology. Sequential brain scans (fMRI) and telescopes
provide information that is experimentally verifiable and that serves as
the basis for all manner of hypotheses. But the fact that the future
positions of planets can be predicted does not prove (or disprove)
that these positions can be used to predict what my day will be like
tomorrow.
[/font]
[/quote]

Rather like Climate Change, and next week's weather! There is also that business whereby all kinds of interesting-sounding research findings get to be published, while dull stuff does not.
Reply
#11
(10-15-2013, 08:42 PM)abu nuwas Wrote:  Rather like Climate Change, and next week's weather! There is also that
business whereby all kinds of interesting-sounding research findings get
to be published, while dull stuff does not.

That's where visual media (hopefully animated), statistics, and all
other manner of 'data enhancers' can help significantly. Any hypothesis,
when properly presented, is true.

[Image: article-1055374-02A0B82B00000578-626_468x286.jpg]

almost terse
Reply
#12
(10-18-2013, 06:18 PM)rayheinrich Wrote:  
(10-15-2013, 08:42 PM)abu nuwas Wrote:  Rather like Climate Change, and next week's weather! There is also that
business whereby all kinds of interesting-sounding research findings get
to be published, while dull stuff does not.

That's where visual media (hopefully animated), statistics, and all
other manner of 'data enhancers' can help significantly. Any hypothesis,
when properly presented, is true.

[Image: article-1055374-02A0B82B00000578-626_468x286.jpg]


Or this offering from Prof Pier Righetti, on Proteomics:

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/03/2...06x415.jpg
Reply
#13
"We murder to dissect" so it must be true, science killed poetry in order to examine it.

"poetry activates brain areas, such as the posterior cingulate cortex" (he said posterior!)

Well now that science has settled that argument, I can get some sleep.


Dale
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
Reply
#14
(10-13-2013, 08:44 PM)milo Wrote:  
(10-13-2013, 07:13 PM)rayheinrich Wrote:  
(10-13-2013, 07:46 AM)milo Wrote:  Scientific proof.that art is.objective and that some poetry is prose with line breaks. Now I just need my portable MRI . . .

Nope. It's more like: Preliminary study results show that


"13 volunteers, all faculty members and senior graduate students in English"

have similar subjective feelings and opinions. Earth-shattering.

-------------------------

"Their brain activity was scanned and compared when reading literal prose such as an extract from
a heating installation manual, evocative passages from novels, easy and difficult sonnets, as well
as their favourite poetry."

"The experience of reading varies markedly between differing texts which may be, for example,
primarily informative, musical, or moving."

Not as clear cut as the headlines proclaim.

Informative:
heating installation manual
difficult sonnets

Musical:
easy sonnets
evocative passages from novels
favourite poetry

Moving:
evocative passages from novels
favourite poetry

You are . . . Slow to connect to sarcasm?

We've already been over this. Of course Art is %100 percent percent% objective . . .


. . .but only when he wants to be. And only when Art doesn't have any personal bias clouding his judgement. And only to those that agree, and only while they are in agreement, and . . .

. . . not every aspect of qualified evaluation of /craft/ is always completely subjective.
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