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Why reading and writing on paper can be better for your brain

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posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 06:11 AM
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Just thought this was interesting to share.

From personal experience, I do find I tend to remember things more if I write on paper. And to be honest, I can't seem to get into reading digitally either.

What do you think? Any validity here? Maybe a little nostalgia too?

From the Guardian

Across three experiments in 2013, researchers Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer compared the effectiveness of students taking longhand notes versus typing onto laptops. Their conclusion: the relative slowness of writing by hand demands heavier “mental lifting”, forcing students to summarise rather than to quote verbatim – in turn tending to increase conceptual understanding, application and retention.

In other words, friction is good – at least so far as the remembering brain is concerned. Moreover, the textured variety of physical writing can itself be significant. In a 2012 study at Indiana University, psychologist Karin James tested five-year-old children who did not yet know how to read or write by asking them to reproduce a letter or shape in one of three ways: typed onto a computer, drawn onto a blank sheet, or traced over a dotted outline. When the children were drawing freehand, an MRI scan during the test showed activation across areas of the brain associated in adults with reading and writing. The other two methods showed no such activation.




posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 06:48 AM
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First off, if that's you in the picture you look like an ex of mine to the point that you are probably doppelgangers.
But she was/still is a brunette.
Now, having taken that off my chest, to the post:
I don't think nostalgia has much to do with it, i mean i notice how writing needs way more attention compared to typing on the laptop, heck i am not even always looking at the screen while i type this.
Typing on a phone or laptop has pretty much become automatic at this point, kind of like locking the door of your house, most of the time you don't really notice doing it, it sorta just happens, and typing has become the same thing.
When you are using pen and paper, there is a bigger need to pay attention to what you are doing.

An intriguing study would be to take 2 groups of people, have one group only write with pen and paper and the other only with a laptop, and years later, check what group has for example a stronger memory.



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 06:59 AM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

I love to write by hand, but I rarely show my handwriting to others, because it is spidery and unreadable to anyone but me. From a distance, it looks like a manuscript from yesteryear, up close, it looks like an insect went iceskating on the page. As we age, our communication with others, using visual language, using text of some sort, becomes vital to the running of both home, and business, and so one cannot rely on a method which may be misread at the other end. Therefore, assuming a base level of comprehension and a vocabulary beyond that exhibited by a house brick, typed methods of communication are favoured over hand scribed documents.

However, while children are children, while their written thoughts are for them, and them alone to cogitate upon, and to share with those closest to them at home, they should be allowed to develop that key talent, for making a mark with a pen on a sheet of paper, to ensure that when they reach the age when they will need to communicate effectively on important matters, they will be able to do so with a comprehensive grasp of the language, and with that creative element in the brain fully switched on.

If not, we could see language become so dry, so devastated in times to come, that everything will be reduced to "leet speak". A worse fate for the written word, I cannot imagine.



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 07:02 AM
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We often do dinner parties at our home and I typically send out hand written invites on custom stationery. It gives the recipient something pleasant in the mailbox instead of a the usual junk mail and bills.

The nice thing is I often get handwritten thank you cards from our guests.



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 07:07 AM
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For years when I studied I made certain to take notes in cursive. I read somewhere that cursive activates a part of the brain to help you retain information. I get so anoyed my kids didn't learn cursive.



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 07:19 AM
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Of course writing in "longhand" would activate and energize areas of the brain which wouldn't be connected by typing alone. Reading from a book and not a screen - a revolutionary thought! And have people noticed how younger athletes and others who sign autographs can't sign their name in a legible manner? Can't read most of them, these guys sign autographs now in circles, lines, and squiggles. That loss of a physical and mental skill, an ability older people grew up with, must change the brain's wiring to some extent.
edit on 23-2-2015 by Aleister because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 07:21 AM
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I read upside-down. Helps me memorize for exams.
edit on 23-2-2015 by Boeing777 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 07:22 AM
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Again, another reason why we're signing our kid up for Classical education. They write longhand and start cursive. They also read off the page, not the screen. He will get technology training, but it won't as heavily integrated into the classroom as it is in other places especially not for his younger years.

His brain needs training, not a crutch.



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 07:23 AM
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Then what could possibly be the effect on the newest generation that use a laptop at school as soon as the primary years? Possibly not very good.



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 07:28 AM
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a reply to: PeterMcFly

Oh plenty good if your intent is to produce in idiot populace.



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 07:30 AM
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A technique I used whilst studying for my degree would be to read a chapter from a textbook, then write it out whilst reading it - in long notes. Then I would try a few times to write what I noted but this time from memory. It really helped the knowledge sink in. This would not have worked with a laptop as yes, you just tap the words and don't really absorb the meanings.



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 07:40 AM
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originally posted by: ~Lucidity I can't seem to get into reading digitally


i know what you mean. the PC screen is fine to peruse threads like this, short to medium length articles etc, on the computer. but i can't handle reading a book in such a manner. for me there is no better way to read a book than in the original format (meaning bound paper pages, preferably paperback). books are my escape capsule from the stresses of real life. reading is a must.
edit on R2015rd2015-02-23T07:42:02-06:0020150am534 by RoScoLaz4 because: addition



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 07:53 AM
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Thank you for posting this. I believe it all to be true. I refuse to read a book digitally unless it is a textbook and it is the only way I can get it. I read somewhere last year that writing with one's less dominant hand can help them memorize things easier. So I started writing with my right hand to see if I can earn a better score in both math and science. They are online classes except for in-class exams, so my writing is of no importance to my teachers. All notes, and work from both classes I decided to do with my right hand (dominant left). I normally get C's in both but last semesters grades for both were B+, not the A I wanted but there was definite improvement. On the downside I usually receive A+ in English and I barely received an A, it took an extra credit assignment to get there. Weird right?

My left hand print is horrible, it always has been and since I broke my left thumb years back it has been abysmal. My cursive for my left is very nice though, I enjoy writing cursive and do so whenever I write a letter. My right hand print is now neater than my left but my cursive just doesn't make sense at all. Still practicing it, but man it is hard to do. I am trying to teach my children cursive now, because they are not learning it in school. I hate this digital stuff, almost as if thought is no longer required. You put one letter in and it takes you right where you need to go, it is quite shameful.

In reference to the post above about reading upside down, that is very interesting. I might try that, thanks for the idea.



edit on 23-2-2015 by brandiwine14 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 07:57 AM
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originally posted by: Iamthatbish
I get so anoyed my kids didn't learn cursive.


Can they spell?
edit on -06:0007152022015-02-23T08:02:07-06:00 by Psynic because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 08:14 AM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

I feel the same about reading and writing on paper as opposed to digital.

I think I retain things better when I write because, when typing a letter, I am hitting a square on a keyboard that looks like other squares but when writing it, it has a distinctly different shape that my brain directs my hand to form. Does that make sense? I type "purple" by tapping 6 squares. I write "purple" by forming six distinct letters (well, five... because of the two "p"s.) That is of course simplified, but when I write out an entire sentence, as opposed to typing it, it makes sense that the memory of creating the separate forms (letters) would stick in my head better than pushing a series of identically-shaped buttons on a keyboard.



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 08:18 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

I think there is a benefit to the digestion of information by actually slowing down for a minute.

a reply to: IShotMyLastMuse

Haha that is me. But shhh don't tell.


originally posted by: and14263
A technique I used whilst studying for my degree would be to read a chapter from a textbook, then write it out whilst reading it - in long notes. Then I would try a few times to write what I noted but this time from memory. It really helped the knowledge sink in. This would not have worked with a laptop as yes, you just tap the words and don't really absorb the meanings.


I did something similar took notes in class in a crazy manner and then rewrote them once. That was enough for it to imprint in my brain. i never studied beyond that and did quite well.

Realizing that people are wired in different ways, and that learning styles vary, particularly as we get older, just reading really never does it for me at all.



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 08:20 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit



If not, we could see language become so dry, so devastated in times to come, that everything will be reduced to "leet speak". A worse fate for the written word, I cannot imagine.


All your keyboards are belong to us.



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 08:36 AM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
His brain needs training, not a crutch.

This is key.

We adapted and evolved as a species from not reading or writing at all to...the digital thing. And the digital thing, while it has its benefits might not be that great for our brains. In fact, it may be causing us to devolve.

a reply to: AugustusMasonicus
Nice.


I really miss getting letters. Snail mail in general that isn't bills and advertisements.
edit on 2/23/2015 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 08:39 AM
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a reply to: new_here

It's kind of different way to think, reflect, doodle, muse. And oddly enough even forces you to take your time more before you commit the words to paper, otherwise you wind up with a bunch of crossed out or erased stuff



a reply to: Iamthatbish
You can teach them!
edit on 2/23/2015 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 08:45 AM
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originally posted by: ~Lucidity

I really miss getting letters. Snail mail in general that isn't bills and advertisements.


I think everyone does. I write my wife letters occasionally and mail them to our address, she always seems extra 'appreciative' when I do this.

Giggity.




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