Can we really do Multi-Tasks at the same time?

The first example: Cell phone use while driving is at least a contributing factor to more than one-in-four car accidents across the country.  (The news by Ryan Gorman The DailyMail public on  27 March 2014)

The second one: Listening to your boyfriend/girlfriend gossiping while watching TV and saying you are listening to him/her instead of listening what is on the TV.

We think that we can do those things at the same time but actually it is not in our brain. The Neuroscienctist at MIT, Earl Miller, said.

“People can’t multitask very well, and when people say they can, they’re deluding themselves. For the most part, we simply can’t focus on more than one thing at a time.”

The only thing that we can do is shifting our focus from one thing to the next with a very quickly speed. It shows that you cannot focus on one thing while doing the other because there is actually the interference between the two tasks such as we send an email while taking on the phone, you will notice that there is a slow down on the speed of typing.

In conclusion, if we really look into the brain, the brain will pause for awhile after the first task and then perform another task because it takes time to push aside the information about the previous task.

In my experience, I cannot really do two things at the same time like studying and listening to music but some of my friends they said they could. Let’s share your idea!


Resources: Think You’re Multitasking? Think Again



2 thoughts on “Can we really do Multi-Tasks at the same time?

  1. I think the reason some people claim to be able to listen to music and study at the same time is because they are replacing ‘normal’ background noise with their music. For example, I know if i put on music in a busy place with lots of people talking I can focus better on any work I need to do, however this doesn’t mean I’m actually focusing on the music, rather that it is less disturbing to my current focus than the background noise of a train station. Anyways… interesting stuff!


  2. I think the answer is yes and no. It depends from one person to the other. Generally speaking our working memory is the central executive which could response to the sequence of stimuli and since our working memory comprised of two components auditory and visual loop our brain typically can response to multitasking if the two tasks make use of the different components of the working memory such reciting the poetry while running. However the multitask seem impossible to perform successfully if the two tasks happen in the same component of the working memory like reciting poetry while writing the essay. For me I could read while I am listening to the music. I just consider the sound of the music as the background noise that help drive my focus and attention to my reading.


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