Keep It Single-Task, Stupid: Scientists Claim Multitasking Is Bad For Your Brain

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The New York Times website has a story quoting scientists who believe that Generation Multitask are ruining their brains:

Scientists say juggling e-mail, phone calls and other incoming
information can change how people think and behave. They say our ability
to focus is being undermined by bursts of information.

These play to a primitive impulse to respond to immediate opportunities
and threats. The stimulation provokes excitement — a dopamine squirt — that researchers
say can be addictive. In its absence, people feel bored.

The story quotes the example of Internet start-up owner Kord Campbell, who is so heavily wired-in that it causes spats with his wife — and almost cost him the purchase of his company when an email from potential investors was overlooked for nearly two weeks.

Interestingly, at least one scientist quoted in the article — Nora Volkow, a leading brain scientist and director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse — refuses to take the easy way out of comparing multitasking to drug or alcohol addiction, comparing it instead to food or sex: essential but counterproductive in excess.

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