Based on more than 100 comparative studies, “screen-based reading can dull comprehension because it is more mentally taxing and even physically tiring that reading on paper. E-ink reflects ambient light just like the ink on a paper book, but computer screens, smart phones and tablets shine light directly on people’s faces. Prolonged reading on glossy, self-illuminated screens can cause eyestrain, headaches and blurred vision.”
As Two Sides notes, the article goes into great detail about why the brain prefers paper and how the human brain interprets written language, perceives text and constructs a mental representation of the text that is similar to the mental maps we create of terrain and indoor spaces.
To subscribe to Scientific American online or purchase the November issue go to: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-reading-brain-in-the-digital-age-why-paper-still-beats-screens
Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.