Monday, July 31, 2006

Multi-Tasking, Memory, and Learning

I have heard that there is no true multi-tasking as far as the human mind is concerned. The mind may be able to jump from one task to another quite rapidly, but it can still only focus on one task at a time. This study would suggest that the more tasks you put your mind to, the less effective you will be at some or all of them. Hmmm... Maybe I should not be listening to music at work.
You can multi-task, but don't expect to learn anything posted at NOBEL INTENT by John Timmer July 28, 2006 @ 2:04PM

The results of a new study on the process of memory that's been released online by PNAS have some obvious implications for the process of learning in our increasingly distracting world. In this study, researchers matched activity in different regions of the brain with different aspects of memory during a learning process. What the researchers term "habit memory" is the ability to perform very specific tasks, which doesn't require much in the way of conscious thought. Acquiring this capacity causes activity in a structure called the striatum. Declarative memory seems to invoke a full recognition of a process, requires more conscious effort, and allows more flexibility, such as applying this recognition to unfamiliar situations. Learning of this type causes activity in the medial temporal lobe of the hippocampus.

Where does multitasking come in...?

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