US Multitasking: If you watch TV while surfing, your memory could be damaged

14:55  29 october  2020
14:55  29 october  2020 Source:   t3n.de

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Researchers at Stanford University have found that media multitasking could damage your memory. They examined pupil movements and brain waves - and gave tips for better memory.

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multitasking is still considered a desirable skill in professional life - the negative effects of parallel execution of several activities have long been proven. Now researchers at Stanford University in the United States have investigated whether and how media multitasking could damage memory. Media multitasking versus memory

It could not be proven that watching TV and surfing at the same time was a direct cause of poor memory performance. But: subjects with a shorter attention span and more intensive media multitasking behavior also performed worse in the memory exercises. The results were published in the renowned journal Nature, as reported by Stanford University

. As part of their study, the researchers performed various memory exercises with 80 test subjects between the ages of 18 and 26 years. They recorded their pupil reactions and brain waves in an electroencephalogram (EEG), especially the so-called alpha activity. "Increased alpha activity in the back of the skull has been linked to inattention, wandering, and distractibility," said psychologist and lead author Kevin Madore.

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In addition, according to Madore, constrictions in the pupil diameter - this much is already known - is related "to a decline in performance such as slower reaction times and wandering thoughts". According to the scientist, this is especially true before performing various tasks. Understanding diseases such as Alzheimer's better

Research colleagues see the merit of the study and the results in the fact that it has now been shown how attention influences the retrieval of information. That said psychologist and cognitive scientist Simon Hanslmayr from the University of Glasgow, who independently classified the study. The correlation between media multitasking and poor memory performance has not yet been described in this way. Studies such as these should also contribute to a better understanding of diseases such as Alzheimer's.

The Stanford researchers also made suggestions on how memory could be improved - and pointed out that memory depends to a large extent on targeted cognition. We would have to be ready to remember, to turn our attention on and off, and to have a memory goal in mind - factors that worked before the actual memory and determine whether one can activate one's memory.

Targeted interventions via sensor signals

Targeted interventions are conceivable for this, according to the researchers. As an example, the researchers imagine wearable eye sensors that use the pupil size to detect in real time whether the wearer is careless and then send a corresponding signal. (With material from dpa)

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usr: 1
This is interesting!