Thursday, September 25, 2014

Multitasking Shrinks the Brain

It’s good to see science catch up with this blog.

For years now I have expressed my serious doubts about the value of multitasking. See posts here and here.

Now, scientists have discovered that too much multitasking will shrink your brain.

The Daily Mail has the story:

If you are sending a text, watching the TV or listening to the radio, you may want to stop and give this your full attention.

Multi-tasking shrinks the brain, research suggests.

A study found that men and women who frequently used several types of technology at the same time had less grey matter in a key part of the brain.

University of Sussex researchers said: ‘Simultaneously using mobile phones, laptops and other media devices could be changing the structure of our brains.’

Worryingly, the part of the brain that shrinks is involved in processing emotion.

The finding follows research which has linked multi-tasking with a shortened attention span, depression, anxiety and lower grades at school.

And also:

Multi-tasking with gadgets may shorten attention span, making it harder to focus and form memories, the researchers said, adding that youngsters may be particularly affected by stress. 

So, it better to learn to focus on one task at a time. Your brain will thank you.


JPL17 said...

Yikes. I hope these findings don't apply to the simple act of listening to background music while one works. Otherwise, I'm in deep trouble.

n.n said...

Multitasking diffuses reinforcing patterns, which form the basis of mental and physical attributes. Automation narrows a development field. Specifically, it limits development of unique individual characteristics, especially perception.