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Neuroscience is confirming what we all suspect: Multitasking is dumbing us down and driving us crazy. One man’s odyssey through the nightmare of infinite connectivity Illustrations by Istvan Banyai
<img width="660" height="371" border="0" src="/images_blogs/wiredscience/images/2009/02/05/multitasking.jpg" title="Multitasking" alt="Multitasking" /> Paying attention isn’t a simple act of self-discipline, but a cognitive ability with deep neurobiological roots — and this complex faculty, says Maggie Jackson , is being woefully undermined by how we’re living. In Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age , Jackson explores the effects of "our high-speed, overloaded, split-focus and even cybercentric society" on attention.
Our minds are under attack. At least that’s what I keep hearing these days. Thumbing away at our text messages, we are becoming illiterate. (Or is that illiter8 ?)
Can Googling delay the onset of dementia? A UCLA study, part of growing research into the effects of technology on the brain, shows that searching the Internet may keep older brains agile -- it's like taking your brain for a walk. It's too early to conclude that technology will help vanquish Alzheimer's disease, but "our study shows that when your brain is on Google, your neural circuitry changes extensively," said psychiatrist Gary Small , director of UCLA's Memory & Aging Research Center . The study, which will be published next month in the Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, comes at a time when medical experts are forecasting that Alzheimer's cases will quadruple by 2050. In response to such projections, "brain-gyms" and memory-building computer programs have proliferated. The subjects in Small's nine-month study were 24 neurologically normal volunteers ages 55 to 76, with similar education levels.