Researchers have repeatedly found that multi-tasking actually reduces productivity, but new links are now connecting multi-tasking with memory loss.
Retaining information and building memory may require periodic breaks and distractions. Suparna Rajaram, a psychology professor at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y., told USA Today that “distraction may be just a very important factor that goes hand-in-hand with multitasking.” Rajaram and others presented the findings of their studies on memory at the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting from Aug. 12 to 16.
“Even if you’re distracted when remembering, you may be all right, but if you’re distracted when learning, you pay for it,” said Rajaram.
According to a 2006 study conducted by the American Psychological Association, psychologists found that the human brain was not designed for heavy-duty multi-tasking, such as when someone tries to perform two tasks simultaneously, switch from one task to another, or perform two or more tasks in rapid succession.
Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles told ABC News “tested subjects on a simple memory task while at the same time asking them to count the number of random tones they heard while learning.”
Their findings were in line with Rajaram’s: findings that multi-tasking made it more difficult to recall what was learned.