Brain: Taking notes on paper would be better for memory than on computers

When it comes to taking notes, there are two types of personalities! Anyone who takes all the notes on a tablet or smartphone … Electronic diary, shopping lists, anything goes! And then there are those who, at the risk of looking a bit old-fashioned, write everything on a piece of paper, a notebook, sometimes their hands!

The two camps are often opposed and those who have a connection to the newspaper seem to be no longer “in the game”! However, a recent Japanese study shows that those who write with pen and paper have much better developed memories! There is only one step from there to the statement that everything digital weakens the brain!

The scientific study tries to find out which of the two practices promotes memory the most! And Japanese researchers at the University of Tokyo make a clear statement! Notes on paper are better printed in our memory than notes on tablets or screens! This study, published in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, explains how the brain reacts to paper and a screen.

Student tester!

Forty-eight volunteers, ages 18-29, had multiple experiences at the University of Tokyo. For example, some of them filled out a calendar on a tablet, smartphone, or paper after hearing a dialogue between two characters. During this very first phase, it took people who wrote on paper 11 minutes to complete, versus 16 minutes on their smartphones and 14 minutes on their tablet! So we write faster on paper than on the screen!

Scientists therefore believe that the notebook and pen stimulate the brain more than screens. Image Credit: Shutterstock / Fizkes

After completing other tasks for an hour, they had to re-remind themselves of the schedule through a 16-question MCQ. At the same time they were connected to an MRI scanner to assess the “movements” of the brain.

Result: Long live the paper and the notepad!

The same regions of the brain were activated for all participants, namely the visual cortex, the precuneus, the hippocampus and the regions of the frontal lobe. These regions of the brain are all involved in the functions of language.

On the other hand, it was found that the activity among paper users was much more intense than among others. Scientists therefore believe that the notebook and pen stimulate the brain more than screens. Which ultimately seems pretty logical.

Even if it seems out of date, keep buying a paper diary, fun notepads to take your notes in bulk. Or switch to the erasable and reusable RocketBook notepad so you don’t waste paper unnecessarily!