Want to activate your brain? Guess what’s gonna help?
Summary: Writing by hand increases brain activity in recall tasks over taking notes on a tablet or smartphone. Additionally, those who write by hand on paper are 25% quicker at note-taking functions than those who use digital technology.
Source: University of Tokyo
A recent study of Japanese university students & recent graduates has revealed that writing on a natural piece of paper can lead to more brain activity when remembering the information an hour later. That study shows that the unique, complex, spatial, and tactile information associated with writing by hand on physical paper will likely ultimately lead to improved memory.
One of the reasons is that paper is more advanced and valuable than electronic documents. That’s because paper contains more one-of-a-kind information for stronger memory recall.
Contrary to popular belief that digital tools increase efficiency, the study showed that people who use paper can complete the note-taking task about 25% faster than those who use digital tablets or smartphones.
Although volunteers wrote by hand both with pen and paper or stylus and digital tablet, researchers say paper notebooks contain more complex spatial information than digital paper.
Physical paper allows for tangible permanence, irregular strokes, and uneven shape, like folded corners.
In contrast, the digital paper is uniform, has no fixed position when scrolling, and disappears when you close the app.
The take-home message is to use paper notebooks for information we need to learn or memorize.
In the study, a total of 48 volunteers read a fictional conversation between characters discussing their plans for two months in the near future, including 14 different class times, assignment due dates, and personal appointments.
Researchers performed pre-test analyses to ensure that the volunteers, all 18-29 years old and recruited from university campuses or NTT offices, were equally sorted into three groups based on memory skills, personal preference for digital or analog methods, gender, age, and other aspects.
The research was completed with collaborators from the NTT Data Institute of Management Consulting, and you can have a better understanding by reading it here…