The researchers then gave the volunteers a break while at the same time completing a task. This break was actually designed to distract the volunteers from thinking about the schedules. They were then asked a series of questions. Some simple, and some complex, all about the information discussed regarding the calendars. While answering the questions, the volunteers were inside an MRI machine which monitors blood flow around the brain.
What the Researchers Discovered
Results of the study showed that the volunteers who used the paper datebooks were considerably quicker at filling in the calendars and scored higher on simple test questions.
In the end, those who used the paper datebooks were much quicker at filling in the calendars and scored better on the simple test questions. Plus, it took them 11 minutes to fill in the calendar while tablet users took 14 minutes and smartphone users took about 16 minutes.
The biggest disparity took place in the brain activation data. The volunteers who used paper had more brain activity in the following areas:
In other words, using a pen and paper create more meaningful spatial details that can be recalled more easily in the mind’s eye.
Saki explained “Digital tools have uniform scrolling up and down and standardized arrangement of text and picture size, like on a webpage. But if you remember a physical textbook printed on paper, you can close your eyes and visualize the photo one-third of the way down on the left-side page, as well as the notes you added in the bottom margin.
Improving Digital Note-Taking
Thankfully for lovers of digital technology, you can mimic the benefits of pen and paper note-taking with a digital surface. Consider drawing arrows, create virtual sticky notes, and highlight your notes
Researchers say there are ways you can mimic the benefits of note-taking on paper with a digital surface. Highlighting, drawing arrows, circling and adding virtual sticky notes are a few ways to increase special enrichment.
Creativity Also Increases