Essay Advantage Book
In turn, such navigational difficulties may subtly inhibit reading comprehension.Compared with paper, screens may also drain more of our mental resources while we are reading and make it a little harder to remember what we read when we are done."There is physicality in reading," says developmental psychologist and cognitive scientist Maryanne Wolf of Tufts University, "maybe even more than we want to think about as we lurch into digital reading—as we move forward perhaps with too little reflection.I would like to preserve the absolute best of older forms, but know when to use the new." Navigating textual landscapes Understanding how reading on paper is different from reading on screens requires some explanation of how the brain interprets written language.Today's so-called digital natives still interact with a mix of paper magazines and books, as well as tablets, smartphones and e-readers; using one kind of technology does not preclude them from understanding another.
Even so, evidence from laboratory experiments, polls and consumer reports indicates that modern screens and e-readers fail to adequately recreate certain tactile experiences of reading on paper that many people miss and, more importantly, prevent people from navigating long texts in an intuitive and satisfying way.In fact, the brain essentially regards letters as physical objects because it does not really have another way of understanding them.As Wolf explains in her book , we are not born with brain circuits dedicated to reading.How do our brains respond differently to onscreen text than to words on paper?Should we be worried about dividing our attention between pixels and ink or is the validity of such concerns paper-thin?Perhaps his daughter really did expect the paper magazines to respond the same way an i Pad would.Or maybe she had no expectations at all—maybe she just wanted to touch the magazines. Young children who have never seen a tablet like the i Pad or an e-reader like the Kindle will still reach out and run their fingers across the pages of a paper book; they will jab at an illustration they like; heck, they will even taste the corner of a book.Some researchers see traces of these origins in modern alphabets: C as crescent moon, S as snake.Especially intricate characters—such as Chinese hanzi and Japanese kanji—activate motor regions in the brain involved in forming those characters on paper: The brain literally goes through the motions of writing when reading, even if the hands are empty.We often think of reading as a cerebral activity concerned with the abstract—with thoughts and ideas, tone and themes, metaphors and motifs.As far as our brains are concerned, however, text is a tangible part of the physical world we inhabit.