People tend to sigh more when reading on paper, study finds

Take a deep breath…to remember your book more: We tend to sigh more when we read on paper, studies show

  • Researchers measured the breathing and brain activity of 34 people reading
  • They found that people sighed 45% less when reading from a smartphone
  • The scan showed differences in brain activity in the prefrontal cortex

If you feel like you remember more when reading a book than on your phone or tablet, you’re right.

But it’s not just about being more relaxed or not having the temptation to start scrolling – it’s because we tend to sigh more when reading on paper, according to a study.

“We believe that ‘deep breathing’ – the sigh – suppressed brain hyperactivity and had a positive effect on memory and reading comprehension,” said lead researcher Dr Motoyasu Honma, from the Faculty of Science. Medicine from Showa University in Tokyo.

Researchers measured the breathing and brain activity of 34 people as they read from paper and smartphones

The researchers measured the breathing and brain activity of 34 people as they read on paper and on smartphones.

They found that people sighed 45% less when reading from a smartphone, and when asked about passages later, their scores were on average 17% lower.

The scan showed differences in brain activity in the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for higher-level functions such as thinking.

The study, published in the scientific journal Scientific Reports, found overactivity in the prefrontal cortex when people read with a smartphone, which interfered with their understanding of the novel. It is believed to be triggered by the blue light emitted from the screen.

If you feel like you remember more when reading a book compared to your phone or tablet, you're right.

If you feel like you remember more when reading a book compared to your phone or tablet, you’re right.

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