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Why Kindles & IPads Don't Work

You can read a book or magazine article on them, which can be convenient (and maybe they're even spying on you!) but the people who really like these devices are students, because you can use a computer "search" engine with them, instead of the old method of highlighting the parts of the text you want to remember with a yellow pen. But because of the way the brain works, scientists have discovered that studying on an electronic reader does not produce good test results, because they only engage one of the two parts of the brain that are involved in reading, meaning that it's harder to REMEMBER things you've read this way.

In the October 2nd, 2010 edition of the Wall Street Journal, Jonah Lehrer reports on a discovery by neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene, who has learned that the brain of a reader contains two distinct pathways for making sense of words, and that each of them is activated in a different way. But for truly efficient reading, they must work together. The ventral route is the basic one: We see a group of letters, convert them into a word and then understand the word's meaning. This part of the brain makes reading seem effortless, once you've learned how to do it. We don't have to think about the words on the page. But there's second reading pathway in the brain, called the dorsal stream. This is activated when we have to pay conscious attention to a sentence, such as when we're studying for an exam. We also use it when we come across a word we don't know or have to "sound out."

Scientists used to think that the dorsal route stopped being active once we became literate, but Dehaene's research shows that even adults are still forced to use it at times, depending on the difficulty of what they're reading. Researchers suspect that electronic readers make deciphering the words too easy, thus engaging only the ventral part of the brain.

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Kindle has a "highlight" option. I'm not a student, but I have no problem remembering anything I've read on the Kindle. In fact, I loved it way more than expected. It was convenient, nice to look at, and fun! You can download the first 40 pages for free before purchasing a book. Also, electric readers will make self publishing much easier. Just my two cents.

The Kindle is not an iPad, that's like mixing Apples with Oranges.

Actually, the author of this WSJ article is making this up: he's citing studies done by neurologists that have found that by making reading more difficult, this stimulates the brain into it's "dorsal streaming" mode, making for more efficient learning. Of which makes sense.
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However, this study did NO research on how e-readers impact learning. The WSJ author himself (NOT the scientists) is drawing, by himself, the otherwise unfounded conclusion that e-readers are bad for learning, using the logic that, "Since e-readers make it easier to read, then they must be not as good as learning devices". *sigh*
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So, ebook fans, read easy, the format ain't been found to be bad for you at all!
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There HAS been a survey done regarding whether or not students actually LIKE the format or not, but it seems to be more of an issue of how students traditionally use textbooks, and not how it actually impacts their learning process: http://tinyurl.com/42nqaoy

Bad science. Doesn't differentiate between types of reading... textbook, novel, etc. Bill

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