Is Multi-tasking Bad for Your Brain?

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In The Guardian Observer, Daniel Levitin looks at high-tech, high-speed multi-tasking and suggests that most of us aren’t as good at it as we think we are. And it may also be having serious negative impacts on our psyches.

“Although we think we’re doing several things at once, multitasking, this is a powerful and diabolical illusion,” writes Levitin. “Earl Miller, a neuroscientist at MIT and one of the world experts on divided attention, says that our brains are ‘not wired to multitask well… When people think they’re multitasking, they’re actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly. And every time they do, there’s a cognitive cost in doing so.'”

Why the modern world is bad for your brain (The Guardian Observer, January 18, 2015)

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  1. “Earl Miller, a neuroscientist at MIT and one of the world experts on divided attention, says that our brains are ‘not wired to multitask well… When people think they’re multitasking, they’re actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly. And every time they do, there’s a cognitive cost in doing so.'”
    Isn’t that somewhat obvious? I mean there are tasks one can do at once without lowering performance but they are usually ones where only one require conscious attention while the rest, like doing manual work we have learnt to do automatically, do not.

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