The Curious Case Of The Human Brain. The Brain’s Digital Reading Process is Different from Paper Reading Process!

These days’ newspapers are becoming extinct like the dinosaurs! A long time ago, when people wanted to know about the happenings around the world, they used to double-step to a nearby local convenience store to buy a very valuable thing – the newspaper! Today things are different – almost everyone has a smartphone. Whatever you need to know is right there…in your pocket. The moment you switch on the phone, and if you’ve set it up accordingly, you get to see latest news, breaking news, entertainment and what not. Some are going to be reading this article on their mobile devices too! When it comes to bookworms, they’ve got readers.

E-reading is slowly becoming a trend and people are starting to love it. What’s interesting is that the human brain processes images differently i.e. digital reading process is different from paper reading process. According to Mike Rosenwald, the brain jumps around too much on the page you’re reading an actual book. The brain doesn’t settle down and it was treating the book like a Twitter newsfeed! Interestingly, neuroscience has revealed that humans do, in fact, use different parts of their brain when reading a paper or when reading from a screen.

The bad news is that the more you read from a screen, the more unsettled your brain becomes when you read from a piece of paper. According to managing editor and host of WNYC’s New Tech City, Manoush Zomorodi, “They call it a ‘bi-literate’ brain. The problem is that many of us have adapted to reading online just too well. And if you don’t use the deep reading part of your brain, you lose the deep reading part of your brain.” As stated by Zomorodi, deep reading is when we “immerse ourselves in a novel or read a mortgage document. Dense text that we really want to understand requires deep reading, and on the internet we don’t do that.”

Digital reading and distractions have even puzzled and grabbed the attention of the director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University, Maryanne Wolf, who said, “I don’t worry that we’ll become dumb because of the Internet,” Wolf says, “but I worry we will not use our most preciously acquired deep reading processes because we’re just given too much stimulation. That’s, I think, the nub of the problem.” As reported by Zoromodi, in order to keep the reading part of the brain alive and healthy, she and Wolf suggest that each person should take some time out every day to deep read on paper.

According to Wolf, it is extremely important that parents take the initiative to teach their kids, who’re gradually growing up in a digital world, how to deep read on paper by providing them with more books instead of a collection of digital books. Wolf was also quoted stating that, “I think the evidence someday will be able to show us that what we’re after is a discerning ‘bi-literate’ brain. That’s going to take some wisdom on our part.”

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