Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Despite reported dislike, older readers put in less effort when using e-readers

Date:
February 6, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Reading text on digital devices like tablet computers requires less effort from older adults than reading on paper.

When asked, both young and old adults stated a strong preference for paper books, but when they compared eye movements and brain activity measures, older adults fared better with backlit digital readers like tablet computers.
Credit: © Paolese / Fotolia

Reading text on digital devices like tablet computers requires less effort from older adults than reading on paper, according to research published February 6 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Matthias Schlesewsky and colleagues from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from Georg August University Gφttingen and the University of Marburg, Germany.

Related Articles


In the past, surveys have shown that people prefer to read paper books rather than on e-readers or tablet computers. Here, the authors evaluated the origins of this preference in terms of the neural effort required to process information read on these three different media. They found that when asked, both young and old adults stated a strong preference for paper books, but when they compared eye movements and brain activity measures, older adults fared better with backlit digital readers like tablet computers.

The authors measured two parameters in the readers: time required for visual fixation, and EEG measures of brain activity with the different reading devices to identify the amount of cognitive processing required for each device.

The researchers found that younger readers between the ages of 21 and 34 showed similar eye movements and EEG measures of brain activity across the three reading devices. Older adults aged 60-77 years spent less time fixating the text and showed lower brain activity when using a tablet computer, as compared to the other media. The study concludes that this effect is likely due to better text discrimination on the backlit displays. None of the participants in the study had trouble comprehending what they had read on any of the devices, but based on the physiological measures assessed, the researchers suggest that older readers may benefit from the enhanced contrast on electronic reading devices.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Franziska Kretzschmar, Dominique Pleimling, Jana Hosemann, Stephan Fόssel, Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Matthias Schlesewsky. Subjective Impressions Do Not Mirror Online Reading Effort: Concurrent EEG-Eyetracking Evidence from the Reading of Books and Digital Media. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (2): e56178 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056178

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Despite reported dislike, older readers put in less effort when using e-readers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130206185839.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, February 6). Despite reported dislike, older readers put in less effort when using e-readers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130206185839.htm
Public Library of Science. "Despite reported dislike, older readers put in less effort when using e-readers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130206185839.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) — A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) — We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins