Thursday, April 26, 2012


Don't you sometimes get frustrated about how hard it is to outrun time even if you unleashed the superwoman in you? How you switch into other task instead of bidding your time until you get an approval from somebody who has the power to change the fate of the long overdue work papers you've been working on for the past months? This kind of situation oftentimes call us to perform multitasking to attend to other matters that requires our immediate attention and time. However, this is also the time that we tend to commit more mistakes and take longer to complete task because our brains is distracted from too many things to do at the same time.So, what is multitasking anyways?
In computer engineering industry, it refers to the ability of a microprocessor to apparently process several tasks simultaneously.
For Psychiatrist Edward M. Hallowell, it is a “mythical activity in which people believe they can perform two or more tasks simultaneously as effectively as one.
Various studies have been made by specialists why human brain cannot  multitask well. Some of these are: 

  • "The brain exhibits a “response selection bottleneck” when asked to perform several tasks at once. The brain must then decide which activity is most important, thereby taking more time." - RenĂ© Marois, a psychologist of Vanderbilt University
  • Multitasking adversely affects how you learn. Even if you learn while multitasking, that learning is less flexible and more specialized, so you cannot retrieve the information as easily.We have to be aware that there is a cost to the way that our society is changing, that humans are not built to work this way. We’re really built to focus. And when we sort of force ourselves to multitask, we’re driving ourselves to perhaps be less efficient in the long run even though it sometimes feels like we’re being more efficient.” His research demonstrates that people use different areas of the brain for learning and storing new information when they are distracted: brain scans of people who are distracted or multitasking show activity in the striatum, a region of the brain involved in learning new skills; brain scans of people who are not distracted show activity in the hippocampus, a region involved in storing and recalling information.  - Russell Poldrack, a psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles 
  • “The most anterior part [of the brain] allows [a person] to leave something when it’s incomplete and return to the same place and continue from there,” while Broadman’s Area 10, a part of the brain’s frontal lobes, is important for establishing and attaining long term goals.Focusing on multiple dissimilar tasks at once forces the brain to process all activity in its anterior. Though the brain is complex and can perform a myriad of tasks, it cannot multitask well. - Jordan Grafman, chief of the cognitive neuroscience section at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Some research, however, suggests that the human brain can be trained to multitask.
  •  "Instead of a “bottleneck,” the brain experiences “adaptive executive control” which places priorities on each activity. These viewpoints differ in that, while bottlenecking attempts to force many thoughts through the brain at once, adaptive executive control prioritizes tasks to maintain resemblance of order. The brain better understands this order and, as psychologists such as Dr. Meyer believe, can therefore be trained to multitask. - Psychologist David Meyer of the University of Michigan
  • The brain’s capability of categorizing competing information continues to develop until ages sixteen and seventeen. Perhaps if people are trained to multitask at an early age, they will become efficient at multitasking.- Child Development by Monica Luciana, associate professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota

A study by Vanderbilt University found that multitasking is largely limited by “the speed with which our prefrontal cortex processes information.” Paul E. Dux, co-author of the study, believes that this process can become faster through proper training. The research team found that with training, the brain can think and perform certain tasks more quickly, effectively allowing time for another task. The study trained seven people to perform two simple tasks, either separately or together, and conducted brain scans of the participants. The individuals multitasked poorly at first but, with training, were able to adeptly perform the tasks simultaneously. Brain scans of the participants indicate that the prefrontal cortex quickened its ability to process the information, enabling the individuals to multitask more efficiently. However, the study also suggests that the brain is incapable of performing multiple tasks at one time, even after extensive training.This study further indicates that, while the brain can become adept at processing and responding to certain information, it cannot truly multitask. 

Multitasking might also be taking a toll on the economy. One study by researchers at the University of California at Irvine monitored interruptions among office workers; they found that workers took an average of twenty-five minutes to recover from interruptions such as phone calls or answering e-mail and return to their original task.

"When we talk about multitasking, we are really talking about attention: the art of paying attention, the ability to shift our attention, and, more broadly, to exercise judgment about what objects are worthy of our attention" 

Although some of the findings may be too scientific, it only boils down on imperfection of human capabilities. God is so wise He made us that way.

On the other side of this very serious discussion, multitasking may be also defined as the ability to shift attention to a something that is fun and stress-free such as "STRIKE A POSE!"  in between while waiting for a phone call from my boss which will finally lift my WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE status.

After a few shots, my boss has finally called. I have to leave Sam and be back before 5PM to resume our unfinished business.

We went to the fire exit stairs for a possible no onlookers. We were wrong. I forgot that that it's already 15 minutes before 5pm and everyone is excited to go home.Geeshh. Anyways, let's keep going.

Saturate! I've been using this striking orange bow cardigan since last year. The fabric is so silky you want it to wear over and over again. I just wished the bow is detachable so i can pair it with a tank top.
un-detachable satin  bow
When I saw this skirt, I immediately grab it and swipe my card instantly.After one month, it was put on sale at 50% off :(

This is one of my favorite thrifted skinny belt. I just love the velvet fabric and the embedded crystals in the buckle. I tried to look for the same kind in a regular shop but I can't find one. This is one of the perks in thrift shopping: exquisite one-of-a-kind pieces.

 Lightweight peep toe pump from a popular online shop: asian vogue shop

Too distracted by the people who passed by, we capped off this shoot by accidentally steppin' into the two cups of softdrinks that I robbed from our officemate.

Bow cardigan - Moschino
Knitted skirt - Forever 21
Velvet vintage belt - Thrifted
Peep toe pump - asianvogue
Photo: Ms. Sam 

BEWARE: Multitasking contributes to the release of stress hormones and adrenaline, which can cause long-term health problems if not controlled, and contributes to the loss of short-term memory. 


Happy chic


I just remembered the phenomenon of a split second rush of overloaded ideas followed by a sudden drop of energy or "I-must-note-down-and-execute-them-one-by-one-or-else-i'll-be-whacked-from-doing-nothing"which I blogged here. In simplest term, it may also be called as "multitasking phenomenon."

Credits to Wikipedia, and The New Atlantis publications
Photo credits to Samantha

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