Tactile input features of hardware: Cognitive processing in relation to digital device
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Three relatively distinct types of devices have characterized the digital revolution; 1) the personal computer of the 1990s, 2) the mobile phone in the first decade of the new millennium and, most recently, 3) the tablet computer. Socio-cognitive theorists maintain that use of tools and technologies over time, changes the nature of human mental processes. For example, computer technology affords increased opportunities for cognitive stimulation (e.g., played games and reading) which, with prolonged use and in a general sense, improves human intellectual capabilities. While personal computers, mobile phones and tablet computers differ in terms of screen size and portably, touchscreen input may be particularly relevant to cognition. This paper reviews recent research which establishes that use of personal computers and mobile phones is associated with improved human cognition. Since tablet computers have penetrated popular culture in less than two years, their effect on cognitive processing remains largely speculative. To some extent, research findings on the cognitive impact of personal computers and mobile phones might reasonably be generalized to tablet computers, particularly the suggestion that technology increases cognitive stimulation which, over time, improves human cognitive processes. However, increased tactile connection with digital devices, as is the case with touchscreen technology, might reasonably be assumed to increase the impact of tools on human cognition. The use of hands and fingers is critically related to human brain functioning and evolution.
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