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Multitasking On Multimedia May Be Changing Our Brain Structure

If you're one to multitask on various media devices at the same time, you're not alone. I see many people on their computers, as they're texting and sending Google chats. Some of us do it more than others but either way, we may want to do it less. A new study has come out saying that there may be a connection between the way we are able to do multiple things at once, and having not-as-dense gray matter in our brains; so, using multiple devices may actually be changing the structure of our brain. Check out the following studies and make your own assessment.

Analysts discovered that participants who frequently use many forms of media at the same time had decreased gray matter density in a certain area of the brain than those who only used one device every once in a while. 

Multitasking on media devices is becoming more common in many of our lives, and there's a growing concern about the impact it may have on our emotional and social health, as well as our cognition, says neuroscientist Kep Kee Loh.

Loh said that it's possible that people who have less dense gray matter are more likely to multitask because of their weaker socio-emotional control. However, it's equally possible that greater levels of multitasking ability may change the brain structure itself. Crazy stuff!

This discovery supports past research that found associations between inattention and media multitasking, depression and anxiety. But, the release also mentioned that other studies have discovered that learning new information can increase gray matter density in specific areas of the brain.

The scientific team used a functional MRI to check out the brain structures of 75 participants who had given information about their use of media gadgets, print media and TV. No matter the personality traits, participants who regularly used numerous media devices had less gray matter density in parts of their brain.

Loh said that the exact reasons for the changes is unclear, and that further research could help to define the gray matter-multitasking connection.

But the study only announced a link between multitasking and less-dense gray matter, not a direct cause-and-effect relation. Finding out more information on the phenomenon, could help us realize if multitasking to send that last little text while working on your final term paper is something that could cause actual harm.


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