Gas, Milk, Ukraine…are killing our Cognitive Performance

by | Mar 8, 2022 |

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We are all saturated with news events and social media chatter. The pressures of everyday life, when combined with the current news feed, the stresses of everyday life can force us to multitask in ways that will eventually impact our cognitive performance and memory. Like me, you probably thought multitasking was for the cool people. At least we were taught that in grade school. As it turns out⏤researchers find that spending less time multitasking may be the key to improving cognitive performance and memory.

Why does the amount of time we spend multitasking have such a negative impact on memory?

Stanford psychologist Anthony Wagner theorizes that “reduced working memory occurs in heavy media multitaskers because they have a higher probability of experiencing lapses of attention.” The more time you spend watching TV while emailing and surfing social media, in other words, the more difficult it becomes to sustain your attention. Instead of building concentration, multitasking reinforces the mindset that psychologist Linda Stone famously calls “continuous partial attention.” It turns this scattered state of attention into a habit, Inc. reports.

Link to Inc. article: Want to Improve Your Memory? A Decade-Long Stanford Study Suggests You Should Stop Doing This 1 Thing

Link to Stanford News: A decade of data reveals that heavy multitaskers have reduced memory, Stanford psychologist says

Donald Hebb, an early neuroscientist, noted the core problem and opportunity at the heart of this modern predicament: “neurons that fire together, wire together.” When we multitask, we’re firing the neural pathways of distraction and diminished memory over and over again. Eventually, these neurons that fire together, wire together. When we break this habit, however, we’re firing new, more productive neural pathways. We’re wiring together mental habits that allow us to achieve deeper levels of focus and heightened levels of memory processing and recall. In short, we’re smarter when we just do one thing at a time.


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Malcolm is the publisher of America Out Loud, host of ‘The Voice of a Nation’ and ‘Viewpoint This Sunday.’ He is the founder of America Out Loud Talk Radio and America Out Loud Podcast Network. Malcolm is a Speaker, Author & Founder of Brink Thinking. His previous career as the ‘big idea catalyst’ in marketing and creative director of television and radio advertising spanned over two decades.

Malcolm launched America Out Loud in April 2016 after an extensive career in broadcasting and business marketing. He has been a daily voice on the America Out Loud Talk Radio airwaves bringing some of the world's leading newsmakers and informed discussions on the issues confronting our world and nation. For six years now, Malcolm has been a driving force behind America Out Loud's growth, including bringing some of the most insightful programming and online journalism available today. America Out Loud provides an outlet for a vast and growing audience looking for news and analysis without the usual Progressive Globalist media spin.

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Caroline R
Caroline R
2 months ago

Great points Malcolm about our focus and neuroplasticity.
Thank you.
I have PTSD, and lack of concentration is a byproduct of it, and a thing to be wrestled with (it’s been a lifesaver, but the cost has been heavy).
Sometimes, with certain subjects requiring my attention, I feel like Ben Hur driving his chariot, my thoughts being like a team of wild horses wanting to go in different directions, so it takes all of my strength to hold on, and a moment by moment effort to keep them going in the needed direction.
With distressing things it’s worse.
It takes so much energy and effort to do things that used to be easy.

I had great concentration & memory prior to the events that caused PTSD, and I miss it, especially being able to focus at work, read for hours, be productive, be creative, and journal.🇭🇲

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