A new study finds that older people read faster and with less effort using a tablet than a printed page.
Researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, recruited readers of all ages to test the difference in reading speed and brain effort when using a book, a Kindle e-reader, and an iPad. While there wasn't much difference among the subjects ages 21 to 34, those ages 60 to 77 saw big differences when using the tablets, reports LiveScience
. Researchers relied on EEG (electroencephalography)
readings of electrical activity of the brain to determine ease of reading.
Tablets like the iPad were found to be slightly better at improving reading speed than traditional e-readers, noted the researchers. Reading a short page of text on a non-backlit Kindle took the older group about 28 seconds, while a printed book took 1.5 seconds less, according to LiveScience. However, an iPad took 24 seconds, which while it may not make a huge difference when reading the day's headlines, could "save hours reading ‘War and Peace,'" the publication said.
Last November researchers from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey found that backlit tablets can aid in reading for those who have "low vision" -- meaning difficulty with sight despite glasses, contact lenses, medication, or even surgery.
© AFP/Relaxnews 2013