The Twilight series of young adult novels “could be affecting the dynamic workings of the teenage brain in ways scientists don’t yet understand” according to a bizarre article from LiveScience.
To be fair, the premise of the article is quite correct, Twilight novels (along with everything) are indeed altering the brain in ways we don’t understand, because the brain changes in response to any and every experience we have – plus, we don’t have omniscient powers of all-knowing.
The report has apparently been inspired by a recent conference just held in the UK called ‘The Emergent Mind: Adolescent Literature and Culture’ which, judging by the pdf of the programme, had nothing to say about the brain.
The literature researchers quoted in the article make some vague and unhelpful generalisations about neuroscience but it’s hard to say whether they were just speculating based on the reporter’s questions.
The result, however, is an Onion-esque ‘vampire novels are changing teen brains’ article. Perhaps its only redeeming feature is that it makes an ironic scare story about books that balances out the usual scare stories about technology.
All those misinformed parents who stopped their kids using the internet and made them read novels are likely kicking themselves now. This would be funnier, of course, if it wasn’t so likely.