Multitasking: Its Effect on Performance by Frank S. K. Barar SignUp
Boloji.com

Channels

In Focus

 
Analysis
Cartoons
Education
Environment
Opinion
Photo Essays
 
 

Columns

 
A Bystander's Diary
Business
Random Thoughts
 
 

Our Heritage

 
Architecture
Astrology
Ayurveda
Buddhism
Cinema
Culture
Festivals
Hinduism
History
People
Places
Sikhism
Spirituality
 
 

Society & Lifestyle

 
Health
Parenting
Perspective
Recipes
Society
Teens
Women
 
 

Creative Writings

 
Book Reviews
Computing
Ghalib's Corner
Humor
Individuality
Literary Shelf
Love Letters
Memoirs
Quotes
Stories
Travelogues
Workshop
 
 
Health Share This Page
Multitasking: Its Effect on Performance
by Dr. Frank S. K. Barar Bookmark and Share

Multitasking in simple language means that we try to perform more than one task at the same time, e.g., driving while making or receiving a mobile phone call, or trying to listen to directions by the GPS (Global Positioning System). Usually many a times we are tempted to multitask and feel that we become more productive and efficient. But on the contrary multitasking slows performance and increases the number of mistakes committed due to divided attention among the tasks. In our studies on human volunteers we found that both pro-active and post-active interference with the provided task resulted in deterioration in performance and the number of errors committed increased (Ref: Barar FSK, Vanjani S, & Ajmera RL. Ind J Pharmac. 12: 149-156, 1960).

Split Attention

On attention to a task, the front of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex becomes active. This area spans the left and right sides of the brain's motivational system. This helps to focus one's attention on a goal and coordinates messages with the other brain systems to carry out the task. (Ref: Charron, S. & Koechlin, E., Science 328: 360-363, 2010).

The right and left sides of the prefrontal cortex work together when focused on a single task, but the sides work independently when people perform two tasks simultaneously. MRI studies revealed that larger reward with one task increased prefrontal activity on the related side, and a larger reward for the other task led to increased activity on the other side. The findings suggest that with two goals the brain divides in two halves (left & right). Koechlin suggests that we can switch readily between two tasks, but it is difficult to juggle between three tasks to be performed together (like eating lunch, checking e-Mail, and listening to the radio). This is only possible with practice.

In the process of multitasking, one switches attention back and forth between activities, which is relatively easier while young, but it becomes tougher with advancing age. Thus, multitasking is harder in older people (Ref: Clopp W, Rubens M, Sabharwal J. & Gazzley A. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 108: 7212-7217, 2011).

Share This:
29-Oct-2017
More by :  Dr. Frank S. K. Barar
 
Views: 232      Comments: 0




Name *
Email ID
 (will not be published)
Comment *
Characters
Verification Code*
Can't read? Reload
Please fill the above code for verification.
 
Top | Health



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2018 All Rights Reserved
 
No part of this Internet site may be reproduced without prior written permission of the copyright holder
.