Concurrent EEG-Eyetracking Evidence from the Reading of Books and Digital Media

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on February 17, 2013

PLOS ONE Research article – Subjective Impressions Do Not Mirror Online Reading Effort: Concurrent EEG-Eyetracking Evidence from the Reading of Books and Digital Media: Franziska Kretzschmar, Dominique Pleimling, Jana Hosemann, Stephan Füssel, Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Matthias Schlesewsky. Published: February 6, 2013

  • “In the rapidly changing circumstances of our increasingly digital world, reading is also becoming an increasingly digital experience: electronic books (e-books) are now outselling print books in the United States and the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, many readers still view e-books as less readable than print books. The present study thus used combined EEG and eyetracking measures in order to test whether reading from digital media requires higher cognitive effort than reading conventional books. Young and elderly adults read short texts on three different reading devices: a paper page, an e-reader and a tablet computer and answered comprehension questions about them while their eye movements and EEG were recorded. The results of a debriefing questionnaire replicated previous findings in that participants overwhelmingly chose the paper page over the two electronic devices as their preferred reading medium. Online measures, by contrast, showed shorter mean fixation durations and lower EEG theta band voltage density – known to covary with memory encoding and retrieval – for the older adults when reading from a tablet computer in comparison to the other two devices….”
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