paper writing

What’s better for stronger brain activity: Typing or Paper Writing?

Technology dominates almost every aspect of our lives these days. But, is it better to rely on traditional methods one of which is paper writing when it comes to writing—let’s find out. 

 Have you been making your college notes or taking down minutes of the meeting on your tablet or smartphone? It’s time you ditch this practice and get back to writing on paper. Here, we’ll explain why. 

Paper Writing For Stronger Brain Activity

Research suggests that writing by hand increases brain activity in recall tasks over taking notes on an electronic gadget. In fact, those who write by hand on paper are 25% quicker at note-taking tasks than those who use digital technology. 

So if you’re someone who has been lagging behind and struggling to keep pace with writing down notes—missing crucial points during a presentation or meeting—now you know how you can get better at it. 

A lot of us often find ourselves scratching our heads over trying to recall details of what we heard during a lecture or meeting. This again is connected to the medium we use to write our notes on—where the paper emerges strongly as the winner. 

A study of Japanese university students and recent graduates has revealed that paper writing or writing on physical paper can lead to more brain activity when remembering the information an hour later. Researchers say that the unique, complex, spatial, and tactile information associated with paper writing by hand on physical paper leads to improved memory.

In the experiment that was conducted, participants who used a paper datebook filled in the calendar within about 11 minutes, tablet users took 14 minutes, and smartphone users took around 16 minutes. 

Volunteers who used analog methods in their personal life were just as slow at using the devices as volunteers who regularly use digital tools. Researchers suggest that the difference in speed was related to memorization or associated encoding in the brain, and not just differences in the habitual use of the tools. 

Volunteers who used paper had more brain activity in areas associated with language, imaginary visualization, and in the hippocampus—an area important for memory and navigation. Researchers say that the activation of the hippocampus indicates that analog methods contain richer spatial details that can be recalled and navigated in the mind’s eye.

Researchers say that personalizing digital documents by highlighting, underlining, circling, drawing arrows, handwriting color-coded notes in the margins, adding virtual sticky notes, or other types of unique mark-ups can mimic analog-style spatial enrichment that may enhance memory. 

Although the current research focused on learning and memorization, researchers encourage using paper for creative pursuits as well. One’s creativity will likely become more fruitful if prior knowledge is stored with stronger learning and more precisely retrieved from memory. For art, composing music, or other creative works the use of paper, instead of digital methods, has numerous benefits. Also, Paper sustainability is one of the main factors to consider over tablets.

So the next time you reach out for your smartphone or table to put down notes, think again. Grab a paper and pen, and you’re good to go! Also, see the comparison between hand dryers vs paper towels.

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