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Did You Know?

Did You Know? is an archive of information that examines the digital/print divide. Here you will find recent research on this topic.

Kindle info absorbed less?

Users of the e-book reader were less likely to correctly recall plot chronology than those who read traditional paper-printed books, said researchers from Stavanger Univ. in Norway. Two groups of readers were 1st asked to read a short mystery and then be tested on their memory of the story. The study found that those who read it on a Kindle were less capable of reconstructing the plot accurately, suggesting the “haptic and tactile” differences between an e-book and a book affect the reading experience.- Investors Business Daily 8/26/14

That E-Book May Keep You Up

    Planning to read in bed tonight? It may be better to read an actual book instead of an e-book reader. A small study has found that reading light-emitting electronic devices before bedtime is a recipe for poor sleep.

    Researchers randomly assigned 12 healthy adults to one of two activities: reading a light-emitting e-book in a dimly lit room for about four hours before bedtime on five consecutive evening, or reading a printed book for the same amount of time. All participants did both tasks.

    The researchers took blood samples to measure melatonin levels, and electronically tracked how long it took to fall asleep and how much time was spent in each sleep stage. The study, done at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, is online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    Compared with a printed book, a light-emitting e-book decreased sleepiness, reduced REM sleep (often called dream sleep), and substantially suppressed the normal bedtime rise of melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep and wake cycle. The e-book users took longer to fall asleep and felt sleepier in the morning.

    “Much more has to be known about the kind of impact these devices have on our health and well-being,” said the head author, Anne-Marie Chang, an assistant professor of biobehaviioral health at Penn State. “The technology moves quickly, and the science lags.”- The New York Times (Science Times) 12/23/14