Multitasking is an attempt to engage in more than one goal at the same time. When two tasks demand competing attention, there is generally a switching that occurs between the neural processes involved, rather than concurrent processing as may be expected with true multitasking. Of note, recent research suggests that it may be possible for the brain to split two demanding tasks.
The prefrontal cortex has been frequently implicated as a brain region that mediates multitasking and the switching processes. Multitasking is commonly shown to impair cognitive performance, as each switch results in a reduction in performance compared to doing one task at a time. However, there is growing evidence that the ability to multitask can be trained with repetitive and adaptive practice. Multitasking abilities have been observed to decline as we age.
People aren’t very good at media multitasking, but do it anyway because it makes them feel good, a new study suggests. The findings provide clues as to why multitasking is so popular, even though many studies show it is not productive.
A team of Montreal scientists has identified a blueprint for how memories are encoded. The findings may lead to a better understanding of memory impairments, as well as therapies for such neurodegenerative disorders as Alzheimer’s.
The way we use our hands may determine how emotions are organized in our brains, according to a recent study published inPLoS ONE.
Researchers at Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found the first evidence that meditation can alter the physical structure of our brains. Brain scans they conducted reveal that experienced meditators boasted increased thickness in parts of the brain that deal with attention and processing sensory input.