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Effect of Twilight on Teens

Is Reading Twilight Bad For the Teenage Brain?

Last week scientists, authors, and educators met to discuss how books and movies affect teenagers' brains, and the Twilight series was the number-one offender.

It's not the first time its abstinence-until-marriage message was questioned or its acquiescent protagonist, Bella, was called a bad role model, but this new round of scrutiny makes it seem less like a parental delusion and more like a problem. "If you look very, very clearly at what kind of values the Twilight books propagate, these are very conservative values that do not in any way endorse independent thinking or personal development or a woman's position as an independent creature," said Maria Nikolajeva, a professor of literature at Cambridge University.

Researches know the teen brain processes information differently than adults; however, they don't yet know in what way. They're clearly more susceptible to influence. Unlike adults, they lack the reality-vs.-fiction filter, which allows them to become emotionally entrenched in fiction while older readers remain spectators.

There is one silver lining for the over-500-page books: reading longer novels improves the brain's ability to pay attention to visual material for long periods of time.

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