The Brain vs. E-Books

Probably the best commentary that I’ve read on the new role of e-books as information delivery devices was published on the NYT website yesterday. The link for the full story is directly below. A few pithy sentences from the experts involved complete the entry....

Does the Brain Like E-Books?

New York Times: Room for Debate Oct 14, 2009

A New Metaphor for Reading by Alan Liu

“.... Right now, networked digital media do a poor job of balancing focal and peripheral attention. ....”

A Test of Character by Sandra Aamodt

“.... Still, people read more slowly on screen, by as much as 20-30 percent. Fifteen or 20 years ago, electronic reading also impaired comprehension compared to paper, but those differences have faded in recent studies. ....”

Beyond Decoding Words by Maryanne Wolf

“.... No one really knows the ultimate effects of an immersion in a digital medium on the young developing brain. ....”

The Book Made Better by David Gelernter

“.... So long as books are cheap, tough, easy to “read” from outside (What kind of book is this? How long is it? Is this the one I was reading last week? Let’s flip to the pictures), easy to mark up, rated for safe operation from beaches to polar wastes and — above all — beautiful, they will remain the best of all word-delivery vehicles. ....”

The Effects of Perpetual Distraction by Gloria Mark

“.... My own research shows that people are continually distracted when working with digital information. ....”

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