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.

Living with the memory of (and maybe ONGOING) UFO contact isn’t easy, and it’s hard to find help (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show). Come meet friends who have either HAD the same kinds of experiences you have or who are INTERESTED in them, so they WON’T LAUGH or ridicule you. Where can this wonderful place be found? At our Dreamland Festival in beautiful Nashville in June–but don’t delay–we’re almost sold out!

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