Multitasking has become a way of life, with many people using smartphones, laptop computers, and other media devices simultaneously on the job and at home these days. But a growing body of research suggests all that multitasking can change the structure of your brain, make you less productive, and even lower your IQ.
New research conducted at Stanford University found, for instance, that multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. The researchers also found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time, Forbes
A second study, out of the University of London, shows that multitasking lowers your IQ. It found that participants who multitasked during cognitive tasks experienced IQ score declines similar to what they’d expect if they had smoked marijuana or stayed up all night. IQ drops of 15 points for multitasking men lowered their scores to the average range of an 8-year-old child.
Researchers have also shown that multitasking can compound existing difficulties some have with concentration, organization, and attention to detail.
"Media multitasking is becoming more prevalent in our lives today and there is increasing concern about its impacts on our cognition and social-emotional well-being," said Kep Kee Loh, a neuroscientist at the University of Sussex, in a university news release.
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