Another Stanford University Insight: Captain Obvious Himself Knocked Out

November 27, 2020

I read “Researchers Link Poor Memory to Attention Lapses and Media Multitasking.” What was I doing before I read this article. Oh, right. I was watching TV, surfing the Tweeter, having a bagel, pumping my legs on an under my desk exercycle, and talking on a landline phone. Imagine, a landline.

The article which I had to reread multiple times because, well, I just don’t remember why, states:

A new study reveals a correlation between multimedia multitasking, memory loss, and difficulties in maintaining attention.

Well, there’s an insight. What? Multi-tasking does not work so well? Who knew?

The write up clarifies:

Differences in people’s ability to sustain attention were also measured by studying how well subjects were able to identify a gradual change in an image, while media multitasking was assessed by having individuals report how well they could engage with multiple media sources, like texting and watching television, within a given hour. The scientists then compared memory performance between individuals and found that those with lower sustained attention ability and heavier media multitaskers both performed worse on memory tasks.

Wow. Concentration may be an indicator of a person who is not dumb enough to watch TikTok video gems while driving a smart auto to a Covid testing facility and listening to a podcast about how wonderfully intelligent Vox real news people are.

There’s good news from the Stanford experts; for example:

“We have an opportunity now,” Wagner [one of Captain Obvious’ detractors] said, “to explore and understand how interactions between the brain’s networks that support attention, the use of goals and memory relate to individual differences in memory in older adults both independent of, and in relation to, Alzheimer’s disease.”

What was I doing? I forget.

Stephen E Arnold, November 27, 2020


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