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July 07, 2021 Wednesday 01:42:44 PM IST

Writing on Paper Improves Memory

Teacher Insights

A study done by the University of Tokyo has found that writing by hand on physical paper leads to improved memory. Students aged 18-29 years were made to read fictional conversations between characters discussing their plans for two months in the future and they recorded them using pen and paper, a calendar app on a digital tablet and a touch-screen keyboard. Later they were made to answer multiple-choice questions to test their memory. Participants who used pen and paper filled in the calendar in 11 minutes, 14 minutes and 16 minutes respectively for those who used tabs and smartphones. Volunteers who used analogue methods scored better only on simple test questions. Those who used pen and paper showed brain activity in areas associated with language, imaginary visualization and activation in the hippocampus. If users personalise digital documents by highlighting, underlining, circling or drawing arrows, or use virtual sticky notes, memory can be enhanced, the researchers observed.