If you’ve ever wondered why the human brain reacts to a fictional character pretty much the same way as a real person, then read on 🙂
When we read about our favourite characters we laugh with them, we praise them, we feel good when they succeed and we often shed a tear when they get hurt or die. The posh word for this is Congitive Poetics, it’s a new field which is just beginning to be studied, with much of the current research being done by the University of Nottingham. There’s a new BBC article, published today, which discusses this in more detail.
If you want to dig in further, there’s a PDF copy of Peter Stockwell’s book, Cognitive Poetics: an introduction, available HERE his paper on Surreal Figures HERE and a word document of Recent Trends in Cognitive Poetics HERE