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 February 27, 2015 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 February 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, February 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) — People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) — Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) — A new study says marijuana is about 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Replace Damaged Hands With Prostheses

Researchers Replace Damaged Hands With Prostheses

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) — Scientists in Austria have been able to fit patients who&apos;ve lost the use of a hand with bionic prostheses the patients control with their minds. 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