Can Media Multitasking Alter Your Brain? Stay Challenged My Friends!

Big ChiefBig Chief Senior MemberPosts: 32,985 Senior Member
I guess I don't have to worry much :jester:

As some of you may have observed, I ain't no computer/ hand held device wizard...maybe that is a good thing after all.


http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/can-media-multitasking-alter-your-brain/?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000058

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Multitasking with smartphones, laptop computers and other media devices could change the structure of your brain, according to a new study.

Researchers found that people who often use several forms of media simultaneously had lower gray matter density in a specific area of the brain than those who used just one device occasionally.

Scientists found the difference in gray matter density in the anterior cingulate cortex, which plays a major role in a number of thought processes and emotional control.

"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," Kep Kee Loh, a neuroscientist at the University of Sussex in England, said in a university news release.

RELATED: 7 Daily Tricks to Fight a Frazzled Brain

Loh said that it's conceivable that individuals with less dense gray matter are more inclined to multitask due to weaker socio-emotional regulation. But it's equally plausible that higher levels of exposure to multitasking situations can lead to structural changes in the brain.

These findings support previous studies that found links between media multitasking and inattention as well as anxiety and depression, according to the release. But the release also noted that other research has found that learning new things can boost gray matter density in certain areas of the brain.

The research team used functional MRI to examine the brain structures of 75 people who had provided information about their use of personal media devices as well as TV and print media. Regardless of personality traits, people who frequently used multiple media devices had lower gray matter density in the anterior cingulate cortex.

"The exact mechanisms of these changes are still unclear," Loh said.

However, the study only revealed a link between multitasking and less-dense gray matter, not a direct cause-and-effect relationship. Further research is need to clarify the link, the researcher said.

The findings were published Sept. 24 in the journal PLoS One."
It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!

Replies

  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    I think this premise is total speculation. Multitasking is a fresh and challenging way to keep the ol' brain active.

    I didn't have any fancy gizmos while growing up either, but nobody did. However I was a tinker-type of guy, just like my Dad. I built my own stereo amp from a kit (anybody remember Heathkit?) and put photoelectric cell relays in my bedroom when I was a kid, also strung a little battery telephone from my house to my best pal's house, 2 houses distant (with my Dad's guidance of course). I had my own Mossberg 152 .22LR carbine in the bedroom and in the basement, a corner was set aside for my chemistry experiments.

    So I guess you'd say that I multitasked early.

    And I keep it up now: I'm reading a bio of Houdini, one of Patton, a book on quantum physics, one about modern philosophy, and 5 mystery novels that I'm doing book reviews for, the mystery website that I write reviews for. I also "read" music scores (mostly opera) just like someone would a book, "hearing" the music in my head when I read the score. Right now I'm reading Verdi's Rigoletto in prep for attending the opera next week.

    And although I don't get around physically that much due to my severe arthritis, I am very active mentally, with lots of different "jobs" ongoing simultaneously. I'd call that multitasking and I'd say that it's a positive thing. Keeping my mind active is essential to not growing old, at least in the head.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,985 Senior Member
    Reading is one thing Sam, but using several devices at once like a Tablet/Laptop/I-Phone and whatever constantly, at the same time is another.

    I think it does have an effect, especially on kids who get I-phones at a young age, especially when they don't learn how to interact with others and do simple things like write a handwritten letter and learn to play well with others. Electronic babysitters.

    I won't say it dumbs us adults down a lot, but millions and millions of bytes of data almost simultaneously is a lot for our brains to process and I can see an overload.

    They used to say keep your brain active to keep it healthy, I agree, but too much of anything can't be all that good for us. We are humans, not machines/computers and well we are wired differently, so to speak.

    We have all heard how much of our grey matter/brain isn't used, but does that mean we need bombard it constantly with "Artificial Intelligence". I dunno and I'm sure as time goes by more will be known. One study or a few can be skewed in the direction they researchers want.

    I remember Heathkit quite well. I built a color TV with advanced features for the time (like parental controls/Zenith Black pic tube/stereo stuff/menus) back in the 80s and all the test equipment to study/align it. Ahead of its time, got fried by a lightening strike in Savannah so bad it wasn't cost effective to try and get the parts, it blew holes in and blackened circuit cards...smoked it is a good description. I got over 12 years outta it, anyway.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    The critical thing, I think, is who's the boss. If you use the smartphone or whatever because it serves you, that's good. If you're chained to it and it dominates your mindset, that's bad.

    Everything has that duality, even fire.

    You're perfectly right that over-reliance on gadgets can be a bad thing. And having kids who don't get out and interact with others is of course a total misuse of technology.

    I don't think that technology per se is the problem. It's using technology to circumvent normal human activities that renders it a problem.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,985 Senior Member
    They were discussing children and computers/I-Phones and the like the other day on TV. Most youngsters (12-17 years old) had/send over 50-100 text messages per day!

    http://www.pewinternet.org/2010/04/20/teens-and-mobile-phones/
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    They were discussing children and computers/I-Phones and the like the other day on TV. Most youngsters (12-17 years old) had/send over 50-100 text messages per day!

    Now that's insane!

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
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