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Multitasking and Short- Time Memory

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Throughout our daily lives, there are many different cognitive functions we use to survive, such as eating, sleeping, driving, etc. Without these functions, we’d be practically useless, not able to do the things that make us human. Being able to multitask, and retain knowledge through short and long-term memory are very important to our general well being. Without both of these cognitive functions, our daily lives would be difficult to the point where humans would be vegetables. This paper will discuss memory and multitasking, and the negative and positive roles they play throughout our daily lives.

Multitasking is the ability one has to perform more than one task at a given moment. Multitasking is important in regards to doing work, work meaning anything that involves effort. Without multitasking, there would be no ability to drive and listen to music, take notes while listening to lectures, or eat while writing an essay, not speaking from personal experience. Multitasking in small ways can be beneficial, such as the examples above, but there are many negatives to multitasking as well. Negative examples of multitasking can include texting and driving, listening to music in class, or trying to read while watching TV. Studies show the effects multitasking has on academic performance. Students’ grades are affected negatively when students stop using Facebook and text messaging. Although when students stopped to do tasks such as replying to an email or doing online searches for academic purposes. A different perspective would be in the workplace where the US businesses have been estimated 650 billion dollars a year is wasted due to multitasking errors.

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ADHD is an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that is common in childhood disorders that can carry into adulthood. Even though there are many unknown facts about the condition side effects or signs to look for like grinding your teeth and poor memory. Grinding your teeth happens mainly when your sleeping, which is associated with anxiety. Studies have shown having ADHD causes trouble in planning, getting started on a set task, mangianing you time, it limits you energy and makes it remarkably hard to focus, especially for long periods of time.ADHD(attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is diagnosed in every three out of seven school-aged children. Since this disorder stays with you to adulthood it leads to higher divorce rates, unemployment, substance abuse, and disabilities. ADHD is subjected into three categories for doctors to put into inattentive, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Inattentive includes not listening when spoken to, being easily distracted, having trouble paying attention and organizing activities, and avoiding activities that require focus and concentration. Hyperactivity includes fidgeting, excessive and inappropriate running or climbing when it’s not appropriate, troubling with quiet play or activities. Impulsivity includes having troubling waiting, saying inappropriate things without thinking or interpreting.

Memory is the faculty of the brain by which data or information is encoded, stored, or retrieved when needed. It is the retention of information over time to influence future actions. If past events could not be remembered, it would be impossible for language, relationships, or personal identity to develop. Memory Loss is usually described as forgetfulness or amnesia. Memory is often understood as an informational processing system with an explicit and implicit function that is made up of a sensory processor, short-term memory, and long-term memory. Memory is not a perfect processor it can be corrupted.

Short term memory usually holds a small amount of information (7 items or less) in the mind available for use for a short period of time (usually from 15 seconds to a minute). Names that refer to short-term memory may be “scratchpad”, “the brain’s post-it note”, or “the working memory”. Central executive and neutral loop keep similar words to call u from the Broca area “the inner voice” where it is temporarily held until it is erased by the next set of words needed. Naturally good short term memory leads to people being more optimistic and self assured, which are a means for a happy and successful life. Consequently, bad short-term memory leads to depression 10-15 percent of people with the lowest working memory become brood. “Chunking” is when you take digits and section them into three or four groups of three tend to be easier to remember than a longer list of numbers or digits (E.X.- a phone number or zip code). For instance, English speakers can remember seven digits in short term memory, but Chinese speakers tend to say 10 numbers due to Chinese numbers being single syllables and English numbers are not.

Long term memory is more of a permanent storage that can improve mental repetition of information more effectively from associated and connecting meaning with other known knowledge. Long-term memory can be heightened by motivation or having an interest in the topic or a passion. In a study people who took a relaxing walk that was quiet have lower test scores than those that strolled down a busy city street.

Amnesia is a deficit in memory caused by brain damage or disease, but it can also be caused temporarily by the use of various sedatives and hypnotic drugs. The memory can be either wholly or practically lost due to the extent of damage that was caused. The two main types of amnesia are retrograde amnesia and anterograde amnesia. These two types are not mutually exclusive, both can occur simultaneously. Case studies have shown amnesia is typically associated with damage to the mental temporal lobe. In addition, specific areas of the hippocampus are involved with memory. Research also shows when ears have diencephalon are damaged, in which anemia can occur.

Retrograde amnesia is the inability to retrieve information that was acquired before a particular date, usually the date of an accident or operation. In some cases memory loss can extend back decades, while in other person may lose only a few months of memory. Even though memories cannot be recalled before the amnesia afterward new memories can be created and saved. Retrograde can be caused by head trauma or brain damage to parts of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is responsible for encoding new memories. The damage that is usually the cause is head trauma, cerebrovascular accidents, stroke, tumor, hypoxia, encephalitis, or chronic alcoholism.

Anterograde Amnesia is the inability to transfer new information from short-term storage into long-term storage. People with this type of amnesia cannot remember things for long periods of time. Anterograde amnesia cannot create new memories, but the long-term memories from before the event remain intact. This can be caused by long term alcoholism, surgery, wernicklekosakor syndrome, cerebrovascular events, anoxia, or other traumatic events.

Multitasking and memory are connected when performing task sets. The instructions are stored in long-term memory. Task sets can be dependent on a limited-capacity working memory. But with the multiple switch,also known as binding mechanisms it controls reaction time and error rate(Duncan metal, 2008). Dual tasking is where a person can not perform two tasks at the same time (Bottleneck of cognition processing( Pashley,1994) or with the same efficiency(Naven and Miller 2002, Tomb and Juli Coeur, 2003)

The ideomotor approach assumes that motor actions are mentally stored and retrieved in terms of the sensory effects that movements produce. Selecting a response thus means anticipating its sensory effects. For example, typing on a keyboard. When you press a letter key it is associated with a clicking sound. Hence there is no need to be visually putoff, on the other hand if you do not hear the clicking sound you may check for a spelling error or not pressing a key properly. The anticipation effect relates to dual-tasking decrement.( Jenczyk,2016, Jenczyk,Psister, Hommel, and Kunde 2014).

Introverts are exhibited in a nonverbal decoding deficit,relative to extraverts, but when decoding was a secondary rather than a primary task in a multitasking context. On occasions decoding occurs within a social interaction in which the decoder is also a participant, the demands on working memory are more troubling for introverts than extraverts,and thus lead to decoding advantages for extraverts. In other words, an introvert’s memory takes longer when trying to understand certain things that do not come naturally. Although it is true that introverts are quiet or keep to themselves, or like to stay home instead of going out. Deep down introverts like to do similar activities but may not understand or uncomfortable, for instance dancing where a lot of people are present. Of course its human nature to dance,thus leads introverts to take more time in decision making ( which is a form of multitasking and memory). because you are trying to decide what dance move to do and if the people around will judge ( which is due to overthinking). Your memory of the situation contributes to your performance. Simple actions like dancing trouble introverts due to so many factors in social interactions and decoding how they feel or will act in a scenario. Whereas extroverts are more outgoing and don’t care how others will judge when dancing. The way they decode the situation in their memory is they are doing what they are comfortable doing, having fun, and naturally being themselves. Hence capacity-limited stimulates a response differently pending the person.


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