Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Multitasking Is No Problem, But Double Talk Overwhelms Us

Date:
September 28, 2006
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
We can listen to a car radio and drive while keeping an eye on changing traffic conditions -- separate complex tasks completed without much trouble. But if two people are talking to us at the same time, our perceptual frequencies get jammed, says a new study.

We can listen to a car radio and drive while keeping an eye on changing traffic conditions -- separate complex tasks completed without much trouble. But if two people are talking to us at the same time, our perceptual frequencies get jammed.

A new Cornell study shows that people are pretty good at perceptual multitasking -- except when multiple sources of incoming stimuli are of the same type. Morten Christiansen, associate professor of psychology, co-authored the study with Christopher Conway, a National Institutes of Health research fellow at Indiana University.

Humans learn "sequential structure from multiple sources at the same time, as long as the sensory characteristics of the sources do not overlap," Christiansen said.

Participants in the study experienced little difficulty learning complex structures streamed at them simultaneously, such as tones and colors or even tones and speech.

"However, performance dropped when the two sets of sequences were from the same perceptual class of stimuli, such as two sets of speech stimuli," said Conway. "Overall, these results show that humans have a powerful learning system that is capable of learning sequential patterns simultaneously from multiple environmental sources -- provided each source is perceived as being distinct."

The study will appear in Psychological Science in October.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "Multitasking Is No Problem, But Double Talk Overwhelms Us." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060925113447.htm>.
Cornell University. (2006, September 28). Multitasking Is No Problem, But Double Talk Overwhelms Us. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060925113447.htm
Cornell University. "Multitasking Is No Problem, But Double Talk Overwhelms Us." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060925113447.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins