This chapter discusses the results of an EEG experiment with screen and page reading. While media may be a contributing factor in perception, they exist within a context of many other environmental factors, including the past reading experiences of participants, level of reading comprehension, and the use of stimulants, anti-anxiety and anti-depression drugs. Thus, media habitation and habituation become central questions when examining the perception of media, leading to the conclusion that media themselves are not deterministic in their effects but, as extensions of human perception, integrate within an ecology of perception and cognition.
Robert C. MacDougall is professor of communication at Curry College in Massachusetts. He is the author of Digination: Identity, Organization, and Public Life in the Age of Small Digital Devices and Big Digital Domains (2011) and the editor of Drugs and Media: New Perspectives on Communication, Consumption, and Consciousness (2012). Dr. MacDougall’s research centers around the social, political, and cognitive roles communication media have played throughout history. He teaches courses with a special focus on the progressive use of the Internet as a news-gathering apparatus, a venue for social interaction in general and political life in particular. MacDougall earned his PhD from the State University of New York at Albany.