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The costs of multitasking

Under CC license from Flickr user mrJasonWeasley

Americans' habit for talking, texting, and emailing while driving is only getting worse, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Studies show texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to get in a wreck, but now that computer monitors are being built into cardashboards, multitasking is become a permanent fixture in our lives. 

UCSF neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley oversees the university’s MRI machines and runs Gazzaley Labs, which study ways to make the brain more efficient. He spoke with KALW's Ben Trefny about the costs and benefits of multitasking.

ADAM GAZZALEY: It’s reasonable to propose that a given period of time of multitasking has more novelty than single-tasking. We also know on the flip side that multitasking leads to a detriment in performance, especially when something is really demanding of a high level of attention. 

Click the audio player above to listen to the complete interview. 

Ben was hired as Interim Executive Director of KALW in November, 2021.