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Michael S. Rosenwald

Click. Scan. Search. Scroll: Deep reading is hit as our brain adapts to online scanning and skimming

Deep reading is hit as our brain adapts to online scanning and skimming

Published on Apr 12, 2014 12:05 PM
 

Ms Claire Handscombe has a commitment problem online. Like a lot of Web surfers, she clicks on links posted on social networks, reads a few sentences, looks for exciting words and then grows restless, scampering off to the next page she probably won't commit to.

"I give it a few seconds - not even minutes - and then I'm moving again," said Ms Handscombe, a 35-year-old graduate student in creative writing at American University.

But it's not just online any more. She finds herself behaving the same way with a novel.

"It's like your eyes are passing over the words but you're not taking in what they say," she confessed. "When I realise what's happening, I have to go back and read again and again."

 
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