The results show:
1. Read: reading a novel
Hi-Beta 2.90 Gamma 0.46
2. Blog: http://www.salon.com (no moving ads – with subscription)
Hi-Beta 2.09 Gamma 0.26
3. Ad: http://www.cbc.ca (few moving ads)
Hi-Beta 2.08 Gamma 0.25
4. Ads: http://movies.msn.com (lots of moving ads)
Hi-Beta 1.76 Gamma 0.19
5. guitar: Playing the guitar (just for the heck of it)
Hi-Beta 7.56 Gamma 2.86
But what about the effect of scrolling?
Dry Lips wrote:
“What about scrolling then? Couldn’t scrolling be seen as the equivalent to formal features such as panning, zooming, etc. Normally one would scroll very often when using the internet, even when reading long documents.”
I was skeptical, but it could very well be that he is correct. There was a drop off in Hi-Beta and Gamma waves comparing reading a novel with reading salon.com (with no moving ads).
There was very little difference between the blog with no moving ads (www.salon.com) and the blog with few moving ads (www.cbc.ca).
And, of course as expected, the blog with lots of moving ads (movies.msn.com) had a much larger drop-off in Hi-Beta and Gamma brainwaves.
I wasn’t surprised that the guitar playing led to much higher levels of Hi-Beta and Gamma, but I was surprised at how spectacularly fast the brain waves become while playing the guitar.
As an aside, here is an interesting article about web advertising, and how it is much less effective than TV advertising:
And here are a couple of article about blocking webads:
And thanks Dry Lips for inspiring this study!
Update: fascinating article on Wired.com about the internet effects concentration: Author Nicholas Carr: The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains
A 2007 scholarly review of hypertext experiments concluded that jumping between digital documents impedes understanding. And if links are bad for concentration and comprehension, it shouldn’t be surprising that more recent research suggests that links surrounded by images, videos, and advertisements could be even worse.
In a study published in the journal Media Psychology, researchers had more than 100 volunteers watch a presentation about the country of Mali, played through a Web browser. Some watched a text-only version. Others watched a version that incorporated video. Afterward, the subjects were quizzed on the material. Compared to the multimedia viewers, the text-only viewers answered significantly more questions correctly; they also found the presentation to be more interesting, more educational, more understandable, and more enjoyable.