Scientists say juggling eMail, phone calls, and the flood of other data we receive in today’s media-saturated world can change how people think and behave, reports the New York Times—and our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information. These play to a primitive impulse to respond to immediate opportunities and threats. The stimulation provokes excitement that researchers say can be addictive. In its absence, people feel bored. The resulting distractions can have deadly consequences, as when cell-phone-wielding drivers and train engineers cause wrecks. And for millions of people, these urges can inflict nicks and cuts on creativity and deep thought, interrupting work and family life. While many people say multitasking makes them more productive, research shows otherwise. Heavy multitaskers actually have more trouble focusing and shutting out irrelevant information, scientists say, and they experience more stress. And scientists are discovering that even after the multitasking ends, fractured thinking and lack of focus persist. In other words, this is also your brain off computers…

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Maya Prabhu


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