Media Multitasking Associated To Attention Distractions Among Youth Study Suggests

By , UniversityHerald Reporter

A group of researchers has studied the brain patterns associated with attention and working memory, and have done investigation on the performance between the two, among 13 to 24 year old subjects from Finland. They have found that the youth who are doing media multitasking during their free time are struggling with attention-related tasks in a laboratory setting.

According to Science Daily, the goal of Mona Mosaila's dissertation was to investigate the patterns of activity in brain networks involved in working memory and attention. Mosaila points out that the participants were found to be having difficulty when it comes to filtering out distractive stimuli.

However, she has not yet confirmed if the distractibility is the result of media multitasking or if it is the other way around.

Mosaila utilized a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to be able to track and record brain activity. She scanned brain performance during a task and investigated the reason why multitasking is difficult, according to the University of Helsiki.

Mosaila explained that what limits the brain performance is the division of attention between tasks, for example reading and listening. She said that there is a competition for neural resources shared by these tasks.

The participants who were reported to be spending more time in daily computer gaming were found to have better functioning memory and enhanced reaction times when it comes to laboratory tasks. They also did not have much of a challenge when it comes to switching between visual and auditory attention.

Even in the previous studies, computer gaming have been proven to have some cognitive benefits.

The results of these studies are very important, says Mosaila, because it will help in understanding how increasing the amount of on-screen time might affect or improve the cognitive and brain function of today's youth.

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