Practice may help you to really multitask

19 August 2020

Many people like to think they can multitask, but they probably can’t – at least not effectively.

As Cosmos has reported previously, neither gender is very good at it.

The reality is that despite the brain’s remarkable flexibility and billions of neurons, it struggles to do more than one thing at a time – and trying to make it do more can cause problems.

“Multitasking costs the global economy an estimated $450 billion annually in lost productivity and has also been estimated to triple error rates in busy environments, such as when busy doctors make medical decisions,” says Dr Kelly Garner from UQ's School of Psychology.

Dr Garner spoke with Cosmos about the teams' discovery of a missing piece in the brain’s efforts to multitask and showed that practice can mitigate its limitations.

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