Memory and Multi-tasking

Are you good at multitasking? Try and think about the most number of things you have done at any given time. Have you watched a TV show while talking on the phone while cutting up vegetables for dinner? What is it that makes some of us so good at multitasking while the rest of us can’t even write a note while speaking to someone? Basically the ability to multitask depends on our working memory. Working memory in turn depends on three parts of the brain: frontal cortex, parietal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex. These cortical areas can hold about three to five pieces of information at a given time. The problem is that at different ages the ability to process information varies. At a younger age though we might be able to process information fairly quickly, we can hold fewer things in. As one grows older the process of picking information from this holding area becomes tougher. The age wherein there is a balance between the maximum number of information and the fastest processing of information varies with each individual but mostly lies between the 20s and 30s. Fortunately mental exercises which help improve working memory through improving focus and concentration would work tremendously well in increasing the holding capacity of our brains and at the same time slow down age related depreciation of the speed of retrieval.

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