The Presidential Daily Brief

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    Readers Report Hearing Voices After Closing Books

    They’re no strangers to fiction. A Durham University survey of more than 1,500 readers found that one in seven heard fictional characters’ voices as if they were present, and 19 percent of 413 more intensely surveyed subjects said characters “stayed” with them after the book was finished — speaking directly to them, narrating their world or influencing the way they responded to real-life events in what researchers dubbed “experiential crossing.” Such vivid sensory effects show that compelling reading, far from being a passive activity, can provide a life-changing experience.

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