Roel Willems: "Measuring Mental Simulation During Literary Reading​"

Monday, December 09, 2019, 6:30pm

This is the sixth talk of the lecture series. This talk will take place in lecture hall H09 in C.A.R.L. (Claßenstraße 11).


Narratives have the power to move us quickly and deeply into fictional worlds. In recent years we have used literary narratives to study mental simulation. In our approach we combine measurements done during reading (e.g. brain activation or eye movements) with post-reading self-reports on engagement with, and appreciation of, the narratives. Next to mental simulation we aim to answer how a reader's sensitivity to literary style is reflected in his or her reading experience. I will give several examples to illustrate the promises and shortcomings of this approach. I hope that in mutual discussion we can improve the way we characterize the subjective experience of readers of literature in our work.

Additional reading recommendation: Jacobs, A. M., & Willems, R. M. (2017). The Fictive Brain: Neurocognitive Correlates of Engagement in Literature. Review of General Psychology