Note to Self : There's Just Something About Paper

Do you ever find your self battling to get through a long article? It might be because you aren’t flexing your slow read muscle! Listen to the episode below by WNYC’s Note to Self (formerly New Tech City) on how the medium you use when reading affects your understanding and recall.

Reading on screens vs. reading on paper: Yes, there is actually a difference.

Chances are, you’ll read this sentence and skim the next few. Really, you should. The rest of your inbox is packed full of other sentences, you’ve got headlines to scan, calendar updates, and that joke someone sent you yesterday you haven’t had time to digest just yet. It makes very little scientific sense to dwell on every word that comes at you. There’s too much to read to luxuriate over every witty self-aware turn-of-phrase… and so scientists say our brains have begun to default to skimming.

But, as with all a-little-too-rapid technological adjustments, there’s a flip side. What happens when you really want to read that brick of a novel you remember from college?

New research says it’s not so easy to turn the skimming off. This week, we’ve got an update on the printed word debates:


Listen to This Week’s Episode

Another fact of note for the week: Research finds that the process of writing thoughts out digitally also appears to engage a different part of our brains.Three recent studies conclude that students who take notes on laptops have more trouble answering conceptual questions than those who take notes longhand in class.

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