I was just reading about a study that shows children learn better from stories than facts.
There is a reason why story-telling has been the preferred teaching method for millenia in our species.
You see, our brain has what is called “mirror neurons”. They have only one function: They recreate what we see someone else do and feel, so we can feel it ourselves. To a degree, of course.
And even though I’m not sure it has ever been tested, I believe those mirror neurons do that very same thing when we read a story. They don’t do that when we learn a plain old fact since there is nothing to recreate.
And if those stories are fantastic and out of this world – even better! They are much more stimulating than a story that’s about boring, every day experiences.
So I count myself lucky (or maybe perceptive?) that I prefer fantasy and SF as genres for reading and writing. After all, this is where you can get stuff that’s out of this world!
And since I’m still a little bored, I’m looking for recommendations: What’s your favorite fantasy or SF story?