Multitasking: Why Your Brain Can't Do It and What You Should Do About It

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 12:00pm


Earl Miller

Picower Professor of Neuroscience, MIT

Listen to a recording of this program

View the presentation slides from this program

Here’s practical advice from a neuroscientist: Don’t try to multitask. It ruins productivity, causes mistakes, and impedes creative thought. Many of you are probably thinking, “But I’m good at it!” Sadly, that’s an illusion. As humans, we have a very limited capacity for simultaneous thought -- we can only hold a little bit of information in the mind at any single moment. You don’t actually multitask, you task-switch. This wastes time, makes you error-prone and decreases your ability to be creative. I am going to tell you why and what you can do about that.

Earl Keith Miller is a systems/cognitive neuroscientist, whose research focuses on neural mechanisms of learning, memory, and cognition. You can check out the Miller Lab here.

Part of the Hack Your Mind series hosted by Radius in partnership with Community Wellness at MIT. This regular series shares neurological, cognitive & physical insights about mindfulness.