Samir’s Selection 02/22/2015 (a.m.)

  • tags: informationoverload information distraction attention multitasking DanielLevitin neuroscience CSaP

    • On average, we take in five times more information per day than we did in 1986, amounting to reading 174 broadsheet newspapers cover to cover. Dan is in no doubt that we are in an era of information overload, exposed to more information than our brains can process.
    • Three big ideas drawn from neuroscience can help us deal with the era of information overload
    • Attention is a limited-capacity resource, as demonstrated by the everyday occurrence of turning down the radio and asking the children to be quiet when parking the car. The ability to multi-task does not exist – rather we can only sequentially task. Each shift in attention uses up precious glucose reserves and releases the stress hormone cortisol. As a result multi-tasking renders us jittery and clouds our thinking.
    • a key to productivity is focus. Wealthier individuals hire staff to organise their time and attention, with no room for attempted multi-tasking. Whilst we cannot all have our own assistants, we can rigorously schedule any time-bound activity in our calendar.
    • the mind-wandering network. This network encourages associations, restores neural processes, and fosters problem-solving due to its non-linearity. Two fifteen-minute mind-wandering sessions a day have a restorative effect, and a fifteen-minute nap during the day equates to ten extra effective IQ points and an hour of extra sleep the previous night
    • how we can optimise our decision-making by planning a strategy ahead of time and asking the right questions.
    • whether digital natives showed an increased capability for multi-tasking compared to digital immigrants, to which the answer was no – they just think they do!

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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