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.

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 July 23, 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 July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) — Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) — A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) — Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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