The Brain Rules: Why the Brain Can't Multitask

Molecular biologist and University of Washington professor John Medina told us about his book, Brain Rules. In it, he presents 12 "rules" to boost your brain power, based on what scientists know for sure about how our brain works.

Some rules are obvious, like 5. Repeat to remember (short term) and 6. Remember to repeat (long term), and some are quite unexpected. Like multi-tasking, for instance:

Multitasking, when it comes to paying attention, is a myth. The brain naturally focuses on concepts sequentially, one at a time. At first that might sound confusing; at one level the brain does multitask. You can walk and talk at the same time. Your brain controls your heartbeat while you read a book. Pianists can play a piece with left hand and right hand simultaneously. Surely this is multitasking.

But I am talking about the brain’s ability to pay attention. It is the resource you forcibly deploy while trying to listen to a boring lecture at school. It is the activity that collapses as your brain wanders during a tedious presentation at work. This attentional ability is not capable of multitasking.

Read more about the brain's inability to multitask: Multitasking,%20when%20it%20comes%20to%20paying%20attention,%20is%20a%20myth.%20The%20brain%20naturally%20focuses%20on%20concepts%20sequentially,%20one%20at%20a%20time.%20At%20first%20that%20might%20sound%20confusing;%20at%20one%20level%20the%20brain%20does%20multitask.%20You%20can%20walk%20and%20talk%20at%20the%20same%20time.%20Your%20brain%20controls%20your%20heartbeat%20while%20you%20read%20a%20book.%20Pianists%20can%20play%20a%20piece%20with%20left%20hand%20and%20right%20hand%20simultaneously.%20Surely%20this%20is%20multitasking.%20But%20I%20am%20talking%20about%20the%20brain%92s%20ability%20to%20pay%20attention.%20It%20is%20the%20resource%20you%20forcibly%20deploy%20while%20trying%20to%20listen%20to%20a%20boring%20lecture%20at%20school.%20It%20is%20the%20activity%20that%20collapses%20as%20your%20brain%20wanders%20during%20a%20tedious%20presentation%20at%20work.%20This%20attentional%20ability%20is%20not%20capable%20of%20multitasking.%20 | Main website (with video clips) - Thanks John!


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Great:
This information make me feel little more relaxing now. This is probably the answer to much of the worries I 'm having some times. Good deal. So it's does make sense because it is like pushing the pedal to the metal. The more push the pedal the less efficient on combustion this will be like over flooding the brain in top of the whole things are already doing on auto-mode, Isn't? Good information way to go buddy.
Keep Cool...
MC
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Evil Pundit - "This may be applicable to human attention."
And it is. One way that psychologists try to understand constructs that aren't directly measurable (like attention or memory) is to create a computer model - that is, how would a computer be able to achieve the same?
I know what you're thinking - this sounds stupid. How can you compare the biological brain to a mechanical computer?
But computer models have been fairly useful in helping us understand the possible ways that we for example, percieve, encode, and recall information.
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The "link" to multitasking seems to be fubar'd. I'm sure there's a joke in there about multitasking, but I'm focusing on writing this comment at the moment.
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