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Multitasking may be affecting the density of your grey-matter

Sean Buckley, @seaniccus
September 24, 2014
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Reading this article on a laptop while watching TV and idly scrolling through tweets on your phone? You're a multitasker, and it may be changing the structure of your brain. New research from the University of Sussex suggests that people who simultaneously use multiple media devices on a regular basis seem to have less grey-matter density in a particular region of the brain than folks who use just one device at a time. That isn't to say that media consumption is rotting your brain, however -- researchers say it's more of a link than a cause: it's not clear if multitasking causes less-dense grey matter or if people with certain brain structures are simply more prone to multitasking.

"Media multitasking is becoming more prevalent in our lives today and there is increasing concern about its impacts on our cognition and social-emotional well-being," Sussex neuroscientist Kep lee Loh said. "Our study was the first to reveal links between media multitasking and brain structure." Loh says that more study is required to determine if the brain is changing behavior or if behavior is changing the brain -- but if it's the latter, the work could support previous studies that suggest that heavy media multitasking can make users more susceptible to depression, anxiety and distraction. Care to read the research for yourself? You can find it at Plos One at the source link below.

[Image credit: Getty / Petrovich9

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