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Memory... Reading from electronic display VS printed material

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posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 08:58 PM
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Hey All,
Just wanted to open a discussion about memory,

Does the source of visual information effect our brains in anyway ?

For instance if you read a book, your eyes can send information to your brain at will, because for all intensive purposes the information on the book is always there. Light bounces off the pages constantly, giving your memory a constant image/symbol/information to absorb.

However, when you are getting information from a monitor, it is flickering at 60-120 times a second (hertz). That means your brain has less time to absorb the information.

Does anyone have any information or opinions on this? Specifically, memorization and long term effects of reading from a flickering display VS a constant source emission of photons ?

Thanks in advance for any help on this.
-R3K

edit on 17-4-2011 by R3KR because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 09:05 PM
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This is interesting -- I never really considered the difference between a page and the monitor. I don't have any data on the subject, but I do know that if I study something on the monitor, I'm more likely to remember it than in a book. I think this has something to do with mindset, though -- when I'm reading a text book, I'm kinda in this 'school' frame of mind and more likely to amass key points that are necessary to pass a test, but on the computer, I'm in this information gathering mindset.

Which has nothing to do with actual processsing differences, so I'll shut up now



posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 09:08 PM
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Originally posted by R3KR
Hey All,
Just wanted to open a discussion about memory,

Does the source of visual information effect our brains in anyway ?

For instance if you read a book, your eyes can send information to your brain at will, because for all intensive purposes the information on the book is always there. Light bounces off the pages constantly, giving your memory a constant image/symbol/information to absorb.

However, when you are getting information from a monitor, it is flickering at 60-120 times a second (hertz). That means your brain has less time to absorb the information.

Does anyone have any information or opinions on this? Specifically, memorization and long term effects of reading from a flickering display VS a constant source emission of photons ?

Thanks in advance for any help on this.
-R3K

edit on 17-4-2011 by R3KR because: (no reason given)


Interesting idea but I think that persistence of vision (necessary for almost all most display devices these days) would mean a similar effect regardless of the medium.

One of the advantages of computer display devices is that the image can be dynamic and therefore can "engage" more of our mental processes around the memorisation of data.

Our neural network records quantatively "larger" input better than smaller inputs and so I would guess that a properly fashioned dynamic presentation of fact to be remembered; could be impressed faster and for a longer term than a static page.
edit on 17/4/2011 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 09:24 PM
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Well, there is only one way to find out !
we should find a poetry or something, split this in two parts. One part we print, one we read it as word document, then try to memorize it on a certain given time.Then we check what part we memorized faster . better. Theeeen... we get back here with our results. As for myself I guess I did not read any printed material for quite a while..



posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 10:03 PM
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Originally posted by chr0naut

Originally posted by R3KR
Hey All,
Just wanted to open a discussion about memory,

Does the source of visual information effect our brains in anyway ?

For instance if you read a book, your eyes can send information to your brain at will, because for all intensive purposes the information on the book is always there. Light bounces off the pages constantly, giving your memory a constant image/symbol/information to absorb.

However, when you are getting information from a monitor, it is flickering at 60-120 times a second (hertz). That means your brain has less time to absorb the information.

Does anyone have any information or opinions on this? Specifically, memorization and long term effects of reading from a flickering display VS a constant source emission of photons ?

Thanks in advance for any help on this.
-R3K

edit on 17-4-2011 by R3KR because: (no reason given)


Interesting idea but I think that persistence of vision (necessary for almost all most display devices these days) would mean a similar effect regardless of the medium.

One of the advantages of computer display devices is that the image can be dynamic and therefore can "engage" more of our mental processes around the memorisation of data.

Our neural network records quantatively "larger" input better than smaller inputs and so I would guess that a properly fashioned dynamic presentation of fact to be remembered; could be impressed faster and for a longer term than a static page.
edit on 17/4/2011 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)


Thanks for the input!

I was thinking that it changes the way our brains processes data. We are organic and can adapt to certain circumstances. If we read from a monitor all the time then I would think our brains would adapt for such information retention. It could even change the type of personality we are...

Like I said, I have no idea about this but am trying to get as much information as possible on the subject.

BTW, would you happen to know the amount of information that is retained in our brain ? I realize its at a plank scale and would therefore be extremely fast, and that a monitor compared with the scale would be mostly nothingness. I mean 60-120 a second flashes is nothing when you consider how many photons are emitted by a page in a book, and its constant.



posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 10:33 PM
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Originally posted by Romanian
Well, there is only one way to find out !
we should find a poetry or something, split this in two parts. One part we print, one we read it as word document, then try to memorize it on a certain given time.Then we check what part we memorized faster . better. Theeeen... we get back here with our results. As for myself I guess I did not read any printed material for quite a while..


In order for it to be a less biased study (as one could claim one part of the poem is easier to memorize than the other for various reasons) it would be better for two lists of words of a set length, eg. 2 lists of 15 words each 6 letters long, one on a computer screen and one on paper. Give a set time for the participant to memorize the words. After memorizing from one list the participant must then recall what they remember. Do this for each list and compare both the number of words recalled as well as the time taken to recall.

This is just a start on how you could more accurately research this hypothesis.

S+F OP for critical thinking.



posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 11:47 PM
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reply to post by R3KR
 


The amount that our brains can store is actually a topic in itself!

Approx 10^10 nerve cells each with, perhaps 10^5 connecting fibres approaches 10^15 connections.

If the data is stored in some sort of way that is analogous to a hologram (i.e: non locally but distributed) the total data density could exceed the bit by bit encoding by several times (using data compression/encryption schemes).

The scientist & mathematician John Von Neumann calculated that the data stored during an average human lifetime was on the order of 2.8 x 10^20 bits, which sounds about right for the approximate neural densities that are supposed.

These are really big numbers! For instance Von Newmans estimate is similar to storing 1,000 bits every second for 10 billion years.



posted on Apr, 18 2011 @ 02:40 AM
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Originally posted by chr0naut
reply to post by R3KR
 


The amount that our brains can store is actually a topic in itself!

Approx 10^10 nerve cells each with, perhaps 10^5 connecting fibres approaches 10^15 connections.

If the data is stored in some sort of way that is analogous to a hologram (i.e: non locally but distributed) the total data density could exceed the bit by bit encoding by several times (using data compression/encryption schemes).

The scientist & mathematician John Von Neumann calculated that the data stored during an average human lifetime was on the order of 2.8 x 10^20 bits, which sounds about right for the approximate neural densities that are supposed.

These are really big numbers! For instance Von Newmans estimate is similar to storing 1,000 bits every second for 10 billion years.


Thanks so much for posting, the info is great!

However I think I got the question wrong...
You were stating info stored in total. What I was asking (my bad) is how much info in time. I mean how much information do we retain in say... 1 second. My point is if the nerve endings fire to remember something, then they would fire less when reading off a monitor then when reading a book. Because of the illusion of consistency it only seems to be there all the time. I mean, everything is an illusion of consistency, but a monitor is an extreme case and most importantly... Not a natural source of light... - I consider words on paper emitting photons natural, because they are so random and consistent as opposed to a monitor (to my knowledge all monitors) which is pixels/squares and flicker at 60Hz-70Hz.



posted on Apr, 18 2011 @ 07:23 PM
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reply to post by R3KR
 


Perhaps, as part of our data reduction processes, many image/recording type memories are encoded symbolically and although the raw data is retained, when we want quick recall, the symbols are what we get instead of the full data.

This would explain why we have a memory (say of a car crash) but loose particular information that is not carried by the symbol (i.e; the colors of the cars). The information is there if we concentrate on recalling it, but we have to bypass our normal recollection process to get at it.

This would mean that it is likely that the font information is probably stripped from what we read and the actual data stored is the words themselves (as symbols) and the images invoked in our imagination (again as symbols).

That being said, symbolic reduction makes a mockery of any attempt at quantifying exactly how much information is being captured at any one time as the capture/compression process will be dynamic based upon the percieved importance of the memory.

Also particularly heavily impressed memories actually alter neural structure and begin to hard-wire themselves into the brain. This means that a frequent symbol or memory may disappear from any processing/comprehension mental thread and instead become a hard wired set of links to which additional weightings are added.

... I think.
edit on 18/4/2011 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 18 2011 @ 07:33 PM
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The frequency of the light doesn't matter, and it doesn't mean your brain has less time to get the information.

I do think for some reasons reading from a book is better given the chance to choose. Yet most would probably choose the electronic source. Books have a unique flavor.
edit on 18-4-2011 by Turq1 because: (no reason given)



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