The effects of tablet and printed media on brain activation during a short-memory task

Muhammad Nur Adilin Mohd Anuardi, Atsuko K. Yamazaki, Ikuya Sato

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Electronic media have been extensively used as a replacement for printed media, and learning and teaching using electronic media have become increasingly popular. However, there is still a concern regarding the use of electronic media for learning in terms of its effectiveness. This study aimed to examine if electronic media are more effective for learning compared with printed media, and we focused on the performance of short-memory tasks and brain activity in subjects while completing the tasks. Eleven Japanese subjects in their twenties performed a reading span task (RST) using both a printed medium and tablet computer. While performing the task, their brain activity was measured using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). The average values of the RST performance scores were almost the same for printed and tablet media. However, the NIRS measurement results showed higher activity in the frontal lobe of the brain while the subjects performed the task on the tablet compared with the printed medium. The results of the questionnaire answered by the subjects indicated that they felt there was better visibility when performing the RST on the electronic medium than on the printed medium. The questionnaire results also showed that the levels of tiredness and concentration were almost the same for both media. These results suggest that the use of electronic media for learning can be more effective in terms of brain activity and visibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1358-1365
Number of pages8
JournalProcedia Computer Science
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event24th KES International Conference on Knowledge-Based and Intelligent Information and Engineering Systems, KES 2020 - Virtual Online
Duration: 2020 Sept 162020 Sept 18


  • Brain functions
  • NIRS
  • Printed media
  • RST
  • Tablet
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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