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The costs of multitasking

Under CC license from Flickr user mrJasonWeasley

Americans' habit for talking, texting, and emailingwhile 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 runsGazzaley 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. 

Crosscurrents UCSF
Ben joined KALW in 2004. As Executive News Editor and then News Director, he helped the news department win numerous regional and national awards for long- and short-form journalism. He also helped teach hundreds of audio producers, many of whom work with him at KALW, today.