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Writing on paper creates stronger brain activity than writing on a tablet or smartphone

Writing on paper creates stronger brain activity than writing on a tablet or smartphone

Technology often gets its share of unfair criticism (especially when it comes to education), but in this case, there's something to be said about old-school learning.

A study published in the journal "Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience" found that writing on physical paper led to more brain activity (compared to a tablet or smartphone) when university students and recent graduates tried to remember information an hour later.

The researchers explain that the "unique, complex, spatial and tactile information associated with writing by hand on physical paper" is likely what explains the improvement in memory. More specifically, physical paper gives room for "tangible permanence, irregular strokes, and uneven shape, like folded corners." Digital devices, however, provide a medium that is "uniform, has no fixed position when scrolling, and disappears when you close the app."

Additionally, the volunteers who used paper completed a note-taking task approximately 25% faster than those who used digital tablets or smart phones.

Of course, none of this is to say that digital methods aren't helpful. But if you have the choice, it might be worth opting for good old-fashioned paper next time you need to take notes.

To read the full article, visit https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210319080820.htm

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