HOME >> MEDICINE >> NEWS
We weren't made to multitask

It's readily apparent that handling two things at once is much harder than handling one thing at a time. Spend too much time trying to juggle more than one objective and you'll end up wanting to get rid of all your goals besides sleeping. The question is, though, what makes it so hard to process two things at once?

Two theories try to explain this phenomenon: "passive queuing" and "active monitoring." The former says that information has to line up for a chance at being processed at some focal point of the brain, while the latter suggests that the brain can process two things at once it just needs to use a complicated mechanism to keep the two processes separate. Recent research from MIT points to the former as an explanation.

Yuhong Jiang, Rebecca Saxe and Nancy Kanwisher, in a study to be published in the June issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the American Psychological Society, examined the brain activity involved in multitasking. They gave people two simple tasks. Task one was identifying shapes, and for some subjects, task two was identifying letters, for others it was identifying colors. The subjects were forced to switch from one task to the other in either one and a half seconds or one tenth of a second. When they had to switch faster, subjects would take as much as twice as long to respond than when switching more slowly.

Using MRI technology, Jiang, Saxe and Kanwisher examined subjects' brain activity while performing these tasks. They observed no increase in the sort of activity that would be involved in keeping two thought processes separate when subjects had to switch faster. This suggests that there are no complicated mechanisms that allow people to perform two tasks at once. Instead, we have to perform the next task only after the last one is finished.


'"/>

Contact: Yuhong Jiang
yuhong@wjh.harvard.edu
Association for Psychological Science
7-Jun-2004


Page: 1

Related medicine news :

1. News briefs from the journal CHEST, March 2005
2. LA BioMed medical/research briefs March 2005
3. News briefs from the journal CHEST, February 2005
4. LA BioMed medical/research briefs January 2005
5. News briefs from the journal Chest, January 2005
6. LA BioMed Medical/Research briefs January 2005
7. News briefs from the Journal CHEST, December 2004
8. News briefs from the Journal CHEST, November 2004
9. LA BioMed research briefs
10. News briefs from the journal Chest, October 2004
11. News briefs from the journal CHEST, May 2004

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: weren made multitask

(Date:4/22/2014)... scientists have found a way to block abnormal cholesterol ... atherosclerosis, the main cause of heart attacks and strokes ... condition develops when fat builds inside blood vessels over ... reducing their ability to feed oxygen-rich blood to the ... of experiments, described April 7 in the journal ...
(Date:4/22/2014)... (SALT LAKE CITY)A computational tool developed at the University ... with unknown gene mutations in three separate cases, U ... new study in The American Journal of Human ... Re-ranking tool), identifies undiagnosed illnesses and unknown gene mutations ... proteins that code for genes are made, in individual ...
(Date:4/22/2014)... is available in German . ... of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of ... shown how double stranded RNA, such as viral genetic information, ... the immune response against viral infection, the protein ADAR1 moves ... modifies viral RNA to inhibit reproduction of the virus. But ...
(Date:4/22/2014)... influenced by low exposure to testosterone in the womb, ... men,s testosterone levels may be determined before they are ... the hormone than others is important because testosterone is ... hormone have been linked to obesity, diabetes and heart ... for producing testosterone in adults known as Leydig ...
(Date:4/22/2014)... waited in line and most of us have gotten ... like. , For Will Mather, assistant professor of ... Integrated Science Curriculum, studying lines, or queues, has been ... bottlenecks that limit the recycling of proteins. , The ... professor, has received attention from the National Science Foundation ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):Health News:Scientists alter fat metabolism in animals to prevent most common type of heart disease 2Health News:Scientists alter fat metabolism in animals to prevent most common type of heart disease 3Health News:Scientists alter fat metabolism in animals to prevent most common type of heart disease 4Health News:Applying math to biology: Software identifies disease-causing mutations in undiagnosed illnesses 2Health News:Applying math to biology: Software identifies disease-causing mutations in undiagnosed illnesses 3Health News:How the body fights against viruses 2Health News:How the body fights against viruses 3Health News:Queuing theory helps physicist understand protein recycling 2
(Date:1/15/2014)... 15, 2014 Reportlinker.com announces that a ... its catalogue: Insulin ... http://www.reportlinker.com/p01957812/Insulin-Pump-Market--Forecast-–-Worldwide-Analysis.html#utm_source=prnewswire&utm_medium=pr&utm_campaign=Medical_Equipment_and_Supply ... Insulin Pumps are gaining strong ...
(Date:1/15/2014)...  Zafgen, Inc., a leading biopharmaceutical company dedicated to ... today announced initial results from its Phase 2a ... aminopeptidase 2 (MetAP2), in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome ... results showed improvements in body weight, hunger-related behaviors, ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... HILLS, Calif. , Jan. 14, 2014 The Brandeis Medical ... Los Angeles a premier and affordable laser tattoo removal ... special. Dr. Brandeis, focus is in providing high quality cosmetic services ... all patients. " Southern California has ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:Insulin Pump Market & Forecast - Worldwide Analysis 2Insulin Pump Market & Forecast - Worldwide Analysis 3Insulin Pump Market & Forecast - Worldwide Analysis 4Insulin Pump Market & Forecast - Worldwide Analysis 5Insulin Pump Market & Forecast - Worldwide Analysis 6Insulin Pump Market & Forecast - Worldwide Analysis 7Insulin Pump Market & Forecast - Worldwide Analysis 8Insulin Pump Market & Forecast - Worldwide Analysis 9Insulin Pump Market & Forecast - Worldwide Analysis 10Insulin Pump Market & Forecast - Worldwide Analysis 11Insulin Pump Market & Forecast - Worldwide Analysis 12Insulin Pump Market & Forecast - Worldwide Analysis 13Insulin Pump Market & Forecast - Worldwide Analysis 14Insulin Pump Market & Forecast - Worldwide Analysis 15Insulin Pump Market & Forecast - Worldwide Analysis 16Insulin Pump Market & Forecast - Worldwide Analysis 17Zafgen Announces Initial Results from Phase 2a Study of Beloranib in Patients with Prader-Willi Syndrome 2Zafgen Announces Initial Results from Phase 2a Study of Beloranib in Patients with Prader-Willi Syndrome 3Zafgen Announces Initial Results from Phase 2a Study of Beloranib in Patients with Prader-Willi Syndrome 4Beverly Hills Physician Features Tattoo Removal with the Astanza Duality Laser, Offers $99 Special 2
Cached News: