Surreal experiences boost brain power.

16 September 2009
Surreal experiences boost brain power
by Kate Melville

Psychologists at the University of California – Santa Barbara and the University of British Columbia have found that exposure to surrealism, by say, reading a book by Franz Kafka or watching a film by director David Lynch, enhances the cognitive mechanisms that oversee the implicit learning functions in the brain. The research was reported in the journal Psychological Science.

“The idea is that when you’re exposed to a meaning threat – something that fundamentally does not make sense – your brain is going to respond by looking for some other kind of structure within your environment,” said researcher Travis Proulx. “And, it turns out, that structure can be completely unrelated to the meaning threat.”