People who engage in "media multitasking" experience reduced attention and poorer long-term memory, according to an analysis published Wednesday by the journal Nature. Media multitasking is the consumption of multiple forms of media simultaneously, such as scrolling through social media while listening to a podcast or watching videos online.
Researchers from Stanford University found that media multitaskers had measurable changes in brain-wave activity and eye pupil size, and that these changes can effectively predict whether a person will remember something they have seen, they said.
The study results may have implications for memory conditions like Alzheimer's disease, and could lead to applications for improving peoples' attention – and memory – in daily life, according to the researchers. "The primary message ... is that the things we do before we remember can have implications for our memory," study co-author Kevin Madore told UPI.