E-Books Can Reduce Reading Comprehension, New Study Says

E-Books Can Reduce Reading Comprehension, New Study Says

There are so many people out there boasting about the benefits of e-books. Instead of carrying around huge piles of physical books that can weigh tens or even hundreds of kilograms, it’s obviously a lot more comfortable to keep electronic copies of them in a phone that fits in your pocket.

But space is not everything. Those who are clearly in favor of reading physical books have a new reason to maintain their position. According to a new study led by Motoyasu Honma and published in Scientific Reports, you’re more likely to understand less if you read a book on a phone, tablet, or laptop.

Reading e-books can promote overactivity in our prefrontal cortex

Reading on our smartphones might surely be comfortable, especially when we’re waiting for the bus or taking a break from work. But the new study claims that it not only promotes overactivity in our prefrontal cortex – it also reduces comprehension. This means that we should bring a physical copy of our favorite book instead of relying only on the phone. However, researchers don’t know yet what exactly is causing the comprehension reduction.

Honma explained as PsyPost.org quotes:

A woman working next to me was a constant loud sigher, and I began my research by wondering why she sighed so much,

As I looked into previous studies, I became interested in the fact that sighing has a negative impression on social communication, while it has a positive effect on cognitive function. Now that I think about it, she may have been subconsciously using sighs to improve her work efficiency.

It’s not a secret to anybody that people read more than ever on electronic devices, without counting e-books. Articles, posts, and others are being read on smartphones very often nowadays. 


Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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