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Mastering Multitasking

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  • Harvard University, Berkman Center for Internet & Society
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... Parents and educators worry that learning is compromised when young people's attention is so divided, and empirical evidence appears to justify this concern (cf. Gasser & Palfrey, 2009). Further, Sherry Turkle (2011) cautioned that important developmental tasks of adolescence, such as the achievement of autonomy, intimacy, and a sense of identity, may be undermined by youth's digital media use. ...
... Scholars investigating youth's multitasking habits have identified similar drawbacks (cf. Gasser & Palfrey, 2009). Were he alive today, Dewey (1933) would probably not be surprised. ...
Article
Background/Context Digital media seem to pervade all aspects of American youth's lives, from communicating with friends and family to learning about the world around them. Many educators and scholars celebrate the new opportunities for learning that Web 2.0 tools present, and empirical evidence suggests that computer-mediated communication positively influences the quality of adolescents’ friendships. Yet, adults are also mindful of the risks associated with youth's digital media activities, including the negative effects of multitasking and the implications for identity development of being perpetually “tethered” to one's friends and family. Focus of Study Because widespread Internet and mobile phone use are still relatively new phenomena, further research is needed to investigate their effects on young people. Existing research indicates that the effects are unlikely to be wholly positive or negative. In this article, the author explores the tension between the promises and perils associated with digital media in the context of one college student's daily experiences. Research Design Using the qualitative method of portraiture, the author examined how one college student uses digital media in her everyday life; her motivations and goals for using various media; and the opportunities and drawbacks she perceives in her daily media use. Conclusions This student's experiences illuminate the always-connected, always-connecting quality of life for today's young people. Her experiences also reveal the complexity of life with digital media, because media both support her connections to people and ideas and give rise to feelings of disconnection and fragmentation. Finally, this portrait highlights the need for and value of nurturing youth's reflective practices and providing them with spaces to engage in sustained reflection.
... Pero cuando se ha adquirido la destreza necesaria, puedes ver a muchos automovilistas conduciendo el vehículo y simultáneamente mantener una comunicación vía celular, con todo el peligro que esto implica para él mismo y para los demás, por supuesto. Un estudio señala que en USA el 46% de los adolescentes envían mensajes de texto con sus teléfonos celulares mientras conducen (Gasser y Palfrey, 2009). ...
... El número de canales de comunicación también está creciendo rápidamente. Una empresa de investigaciones calcula que un trabajador típico en la economía del conocimiento se ocupa de 200 correos electrónicos, decenas de mensajes instantáneos, teléfono con múltiples llamadas y varios mensajes de texto al día (Gasser y Palfrey, 2009). ...
Book
¿Se pueden cambiar las prácticas educativas de las escuelas? ¿Es viable una educación integral genuina? Sí, desde luego que todo esto es posible; pero para ello hay que ir al fondo de la cuestión. El cambio educativo tiene que partir desde un nuevo enfoque pedagógico. El objetivo de esta obra es analizar las problemáticas educativas y plantear una propuesta de cambio que permita desarrollar aquellas competencias que posibiliten enfrentar las vicisitudes de la vida de manera exitosa. Se trata de buscar el desarrollo integral de los alumnos para que sean mejores seres humanos, y a la vez, que sean capaces de continuar desarrollándose por sí mismos. Para ello, se comparte una serie de innovaciones en la enseñanza y el aprendizaje fundamenta-das en la aplicación del aprendizaje cooperativo y colaborativo entre estudiantes y maestros con el fin de lograr las competencias que han de contribuir, definitivamente; en la construcción de un mundo mejor para todos.
... Някои автори (М. Prensky, U. Gasser, J. Palfrey) определят многозначността като глобално условие за повишаване на производителността през новото хилядолетие (Prensky 2012;Gasser, Palfrey). L. Rosen подчертава, че за поколението iGeneration, дигиталните технологии не са "инструменти", а част от околната среда. ...
Conference Paper
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Обучението по STEM – характеристики и проблеми Резюме на доклада: Докладът представя теоретично проучване относно концепцията за обучение по STEM. Той е част от изследване по европейски, мултилатерален проект по програма Еразъм+. В доклада е направено кратко описание на възникването на идеята и нейния замисъл. В него са представени основните характеристики на концепцията и необходимостта от реализирането на единството от тематични области. Описани са и евентуални проблеми, които могат да възникнат при нейното разгръщане. Поставя се акцент върху значението на процеса на обучение. Направен е преглед на възможностите за формирането у децата на ценни за живота, ключови за 21 век умения. Представя се променената роля на учителя при разгръщането на обучението по STEM. Очертава се значението на педагога за изграждането на скелета на педагогическите дейности. Посочват се трудности, които учителите могат да срещнат при оформянето на структурата на учебния процес. Проследени са и някои обществени предразсъдъци спрямо концепцията, които биха могли да възпрепятстват нейното реализиране. Оформят се обобщения, които насочват читателя към предимствата на представената концепция и към многобройните варианти за нейното реализиране.
... Discussion turns towards limiting technology that is not necessary for learning (Sana et al 2014) or discussing with students at the start of a course the possible consequences of using a laptop in class and their impact on grades (Gasser & Palfrey 2009) is vital. Faculties routinely include a clause in syllabi about academic integrity and other assorted policies. ...
Article
The last two decades has seen a fundamental shift in society with the growth in technology and the growth of social media. This shift has been embraced in the classroom as a tool to enhance the learning experience of the student. Students have experienced a fundamental shift in interaction with themselves and the world they inhabit with the exponential growth in technology and social media both inside and outside the classroom. The result is the multitasking student, who must constantly switch between a growing number of interactions. Attention spans have a finite limit, and eventually students experience an over-consumption of technology, characterized by increasing levels of anxiety and stress. To better serve our students, marketing educators must reconsider the technology experience in the classroom. Further, marketing educators should educate students on the detrimental effects of technology over-consumption and solutions to relieve themselves from their over-stressed plugged-in world.
... Furthermore, Ophir, Nass and Wagner (2009) find that media multitasking is considered a challenge for human cognition. Gasser and Palfrey (2009) suggest that educators must understand the challenges of multitasking and talk to students about the uses and limitations of multitasking as part of school information and media literacy programs. ...
Article
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The growth and expansion of communication technology have created a multitasking generation of students who believe they are utilizing time more effectively by performing two or more tasks simultaneously. Multitasking refers to the concurrent processing of two or more tasks through a process of context switching. However, research by neuroscientists show that multitasking reduces the brain’s ability to effectively retrieve information. The purpose of this study is to empirically examine whether multitasking in class affects the grade performance of business students. We conducted an experiment using 62 undergraduate business students enrolled in the first accounting principles course at a university in the Southeastern part of the United States. The students participated in a class lecture and afterwards were given a quiz covering the lecture content. One-half of the participants were allowed to multitask in the form of texting during a class lecture, while the other half of the participants were not. Our findings indicate that the exam scores of students who text in class are significantly lower than the exam scores of students who do not text in class. Thus, multitasking during class is considered a distraction that is likely to result in lower grade performance. The implications of this study can be very useful to students, instructors, administrators, and other academic stakeholders, about the effect of multitasking in a learning environment on students’ grade performance.
... Thus, for a variety of reasons, laptops should remain a tool of the modern classroom, perhaps with some sensible constraints. One suggestion is for teachers to discuss the consequences of laptop use with their students at the outset of a course (Gasser & Palfrey, 2009). Teachers are in a position to inform students about negative educational outcomes of laptop misuse, as well as to compare and contrast their views with the views of their students. ...
Article
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Laptops are commonplace in university classrooms. In light of cognitive psychology theory on costs associated with multitasking, we examined the effects of in-class laptop use on student learning in a simulated classroom. We found that participants who multitasked on a laptop during a lecture scored lower on a test compared to those who did not multitask, and participants who were in direct view of a multitasking peer scored lower on a test compared to those who were not. The results demonstrate that multitasking on a laptop poses a significant distraction to both users and fellow students and can be detrimental to comprehension of lecture content.
... Following the claims of some commentators (e.g. Gasser and Palfrey, 2009;Rosen, 2008;Willingham, 2010) we believe this is another interesting area for future exploration. ...
Article
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Technological developments have increased the opportunity for interleaving between tasks, leading to more interruptions and more choices for users. Three experiments tested the interleaving strategies of users completing simple office-based tasks while adjusting access control privileges to documents. Previous work predicted users would switch tasks to enable them to work on the task that produced the greatest current benefit—they would maximise the marginal rate of return. Results found that by interleaving between tasks users were able to focus on shorter tasks and that the interleaving decisions were consistent with a strategy of maximising the marginal rate of return. However, interruptions from access control tasks disrupted the processing involved in this task management and led to errors in task selection (Experiment 2) and task performance (Experiment 3). Task interleaving can therefore have costs in security contexts where errors can be catastrophic. Understanding which strategies maximise the marginal rate of return could predict users’ task management behaviour.
... Leading educational journals abound with information addressing the vast scope of diversity among students to which educators must attend as they seek to construct an environment where all students have access to a guaranteed and viable curriculum (Chalker & Stelsel, 2009;Gasser & Palfrey, 2009;Weigel & Gardner, 2009). Diversity is a broad term that includes the range of cultural, ethnic, cognitive, and physical differences that represent students in United States public schools. ...
Article
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Leading educational journals abound with information addressing the vast scope of diversity among students to which educators must attend as they seek to construct an environment where all students have access to a guaranteed and viable curriculum (Chalker & Stelsel, 2009; Gasser & Palfrey, 2009; Weigel & Gardner, 2009). Diversity is a broad term that includes the range of cultural, ethnic, cognitive, and physical differences that represent students in United States public schools. Strict federal, state, and local laws add to the complexity of educating students with diverse needs and must be embraced as educators plan, implement, and assess learning activities (Cook, Tankersley, & Landrum, 2009; Parrish & Stodden, 2009). The increasing need for educators to attend to the scope of issues represented by such a diverse group of students provides the foundation for this paper. In it we will connect cognitive psychology, Mel Levine's All Kinds of Minds theoretical framework, and Universal Design for Learning within the constructionist paradigm demonstrating an integrated approach toward achieving an academic environment where all children can learn. For the purposes of this paper, the authors have narrowed the issue of diversity to focus on students with cognitive and physical differences as practical classroom applications of All Kinds of Minds and Universal Design for Learning are examined. The Constructionist Paradigm Constructionists believe that meaning, or truth, is not created but rather constructed by the individual (Crotty, 1998; Gall et al., 2007; Strauss & Corbin, 1990). Social constructionists include the influence of culture, individual experiences, environments, cognitive abilities, and feelings of self-efficacy in the way an individual constructs meaning (Crotty; Gall et al.). They believe our individual view of the natural world is greatly influenced by the social world, the system of principles and ideals that are valued in the culture in which we have grown up and live (Crotty; Gall et al.; Strauss & Corbin). An example of the added social dimension in constructionism is demonstrated as one comes across the word plant. Objectivist theory would say that the individual would examine the plant and would know that it is a plant because we, as humans, have determined what the characteristics of a plant are and this object fits those objective characteristics. Constructionists recognize that humans have ascribed these characteristics to the plant and that there is a certain amount of subjectivity in ascribing characteristics. Social constructionists would say that the individual is influenced by past experiences with plants as well as by the culture and geographic region in which he lives as he describes or reflects on the ontology of a plant. For example, someone living in a city might envisage a different image when thinking of a plant than someone living in the country due to geography, education, and experience with plants. The urban dweller may view plants as being contained and/or something to add beauty to the home whereas the rural dweller could be a farmer and may view plants as a form of livelihood.
... Yet, learning platforms and interfaces do not take into account that the students will be multitasking in both classroom and online teaching. Gasser and Palfrey (2009) suggest that educators must understand the challenges of multitasking and talk to students about the uses and limitations of multitasking as part of school information and media literacy programs. ...
Article
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Aim/Purpose: This paper investigates the influence of university student multitasking on their learning success, defined as students’ learning satisfaction and performance. Background: Most research on student multitasking finds student multitasking problematic. However, this research is generally from 2010. Yet, today’s students are known to be digital natives and they have a different, more positive, relationship with mobile technologies. Based on the old findings, most instructors ban mobile technology use during instruction, and design their online courses without regard for the mobile technology use that happens regardless of their ban. This study investigates whether today’s instructors and learning management system interface designers should take into account multitasking with mobile technologies. Methodology: A quasi-experimental design was used in this study. Data were collected from 117 students across two sections of an introductory Management Information Systems class taught by the first author. We took multiple approaches and steps to control for confounding factors and to increase the internal validity of the study. We used a control group as a comparison group, we used a pre-test, we controlled for selection bias, and we tested for demographic differences between groups. Contribution: With this paper, we explicated the relationship between multitasking and learning success. We defined learning success as learning performance and learning satisfaction. Contrary to the literature, we found that multitasking involving IT texting does not decrease students’ learning performance. An explanation of this change is the change in the student population, and the digital nativeness between 2010s and 2020 and beyond. Findings: Our study showed that multitasking involving IT texting does not decrease students’ performance in class compared to not multitasking. Secondly, our study showed that, overall, multitasking reduced the students’ learning satisfaction despite the literature suggesting otherwise. We found that attitude towards multitasking moderated the relationship between multitasking and learning satisfaction as follows. Individuals who had a positive attitude towards multitasking had high learning satisfaction with multitasking. However, individuals who had positive attitude toward multitasking did not necessarily have higher learning performance. Recommendations for Practitioners: We would recommend both instructors and the designers of learning management systems to take mobile multitasking into consideration while designing courses and course interfaces, rather than banning multitasking, and assuming that the students do not do it. Furthermore, we recommend including multitasking into relevant courses such as Management Information Systems courses to make students aware of their own multitasking behavior and their results. Recommendation for Researchers: We recommend that future studies investigate multitasking with different instruction methods, especially studies that make students aware of their multitasking behavior and its outcomes will be useful for next generations. Impact on Society: This paper investigates the role of mobile multitasking on learning performance. Since mobile technologies are ubiquitous and their use in multitasking is common, their use in multitasking affects societal performance. Future Research: Studies that replicate our research with larger and more diverse samples are needed. Future research could explore research-based experiential teaching methods, similar to this study.
... The results tested that NetizenYears could be used as the criteria of digital learners, as the Internet use patterns show significant linear trends with NetizenYears increasing. The criteria of digital learner based on this large scale survey might stop the debate of digital natives from the researcher like Tapscott (1998), Howe and Strauss (2000), Prensky (2001) and Gasser and Palfrey (2009) and researchers like Bennett, Maton, and Kervin (2008), Selwyn (2009), Jones, Ramanau, Cross, andHealing (2010) and Romero, Guitert, Sangrà, and Bullen (2013). In educational research, we should concentrate on enhancing our understandings of the realities of technology use in contemporary society (Selwyn, 2009) and the learning preferences in the technology-rich environments. ...
Article
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Students grown up with digital technology and Internet are called digital natives or net generation. All others, who grew up without so much immersion with digital technologies are called digital immigrants. Researchers held different ideas on whether a new generation of learners existed. One of the foci of the debate is on the appropriateness of using age as the criteria to divide 'Digital native' and 'Digital immigrants'. In order to reconcile the debate, the term 'Digital learner' was used in this paper, with the hypothesis that the time length for using technology could be used as the criteria for dividing digital learners. It is also noticed that there were few studies focused on the learning preferences of today's learners in Chinese context. In order to understand learners' learning preference and test our hypothesis, a Large-Scale survey with 44470 participants and 7 focus group interviews were conducted with 28 participants. Results showed NetizenYears that indicated the number of years passed since he/she first time got online could be used as the criteria of digital learners. Digital learners could be labeled as 1-NetizenYear digital learners, 2-NetzizenYears digital learners, and so on, and Non-Digital learners are those with 0 NetizenYear. Results revealed that Non-Digital learners and digital learners had significantly different Internet use patterns. More positive attitudes to Internet, more active participation online and more tendency to Internet addiction were found for digital learners with increasing NetizenYears. The gap between digital learner's preferred learning approach and teaching methods in classroom was discussed. The paper concludes with a discussion on using the time length of using technology as the criteria for digital learners.
... This study shows the shortest segments observed in the literature, although two others show similar results (Mark et al., 2014;Yeykelis et al., 2014). This timeframe is significantly shorter than most popular discussions about task-switching and multitasking, which often describe switching between tasks at a scale of minutes rather than seconds (Gasser & Palfrey, 2009;Rosen, 2008;Tugend, 2008). Notably, the fast switching pace implies a paradigm shift in media consumption. ...
Article
Personal computers allow multitasking among a greater variety of content than has ever been possible on a single device. We logged all switches made for 4 days for 30 people on personal computers used in natural environments. The median time before a switch occurred was 11 sec, shorter than previously observed. We also measured individual differences in appetitive versus defensive motivations to switch. Those people high on both motivations (Coactives) had the most switches per session. Risk takers had the shortest content segment lengths; risk avoiders and inactives were lower on the number of switches and anticipated arousal. Different patterns of content selection, in addition to switching behavior, were also observed for the different motivation activation groups. Results highlight how threads of experience that mix radically different short media segments may better define how people now search, process, and evaluate information. Implications in light of technological trends and individual differences are discussed.
... That's, one student from each of the main groups. Therefore, each group has one expert from the original groups [10]. ...
Conference Paper
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In this paper we will discuss different teaching strategies. The paper three broad teaching strategies (1) teaching strategies that require less preparation and resources, (2) teaching strategies that require external resources, and (3) teaching strategies that require more preparation. We will discuss how each strategy is used and the methods that adopted each teaching strategy. We will also share our experience in teaching computer networks courses at Imam University starting from traditional methods of teaching into applied teaching methods. We will share the improvement observed via students' surveys and interactions. The applied network lab is divided into groups of modules. Each module is responsible for a significant task in the network lab experiment. In the network course lab, students are given raw networking components such as Ethernet wires, hubs, switches, and routers. Students are to use these simple components to build their own network and configure it forming a sub-project. Students assembling group then aggregate different students sub-project into one big project. Applied teaching method has proven to be outperforming other traditional teaching methods such as listen and learn based strategies.
... Discussion turns towards limiting technology that is not necessary for learning (Sana et al. 2013) or discussing with students at the start of a course the possible consequences of using a laptop in class and their impact on grades (Gasser and Palfrey, 2009) is vital. Faculties routinely include a clause in syllabi about academic integrity and other assorted policies. ...
... People who were born after 1980 are called digital natives, and they have grown up in the digital age, and generally they have the ability of technological use [4,5]. Ac-cording to the widespread of the internet and the technology, learners of this generation have different learning patterns than the generations before [4,6,7], furthermore, they have a fundamental change: communicate, socialise, create and learn [8]. Not to mention the learners of this generation have more opportunities to use this resource, but a family's socioeconomic status leads different outputs influentially. ...
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Due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), many schools and universities have closed worldwide, however, the UNESCO recommended the use of distance learning to reach learners remotely and limit the disruption of education. this is an empirical study to discuss if the role of online learning really helps learners to learn programming design better on problem-based cooperative learning. This study adopted a quasi-experimental and nonequivalent control-group design, and it carried out a 7-week experimental instruction by applying online and face-to-face cooperative learning methods. The programming design learning achievement pretest and posttest were used to collect the data from the participants. And it shown that the different cooperative learning methods had significant differences in their achievement, learning online was helpful, but face-to-face learning was superior significantly than online learning in this study.
... To assist parents in finding and selecting appropriate content, the non-profit organization Common Sense Media provides age and quality ratings for websites and video games. 15 The Commission should investigate whether such rating and indexing systems could help parents and children navigate online content more effectively and safely. Experience with television and film ratings has shown that in order for ratings to be useful to parents, they must be clear and consistently applied. ...
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his paper is a response to the FCC's Notice of Inquiry (09-94) on Empowering Parents and Protecting Children in an Evolving Media Landscape (PDF). The response synthesizes current research and data on the media practices of youth, focusing on three main areas -- 1) Risky Behaviors and Online Safety, 2) Privacy, Publicity and Reputation, and 3) Information Dissemination, Youth-Created Content and Quality of Information -- in order to highlight issues of genuine concern, such as growing participation and literacy gaps, and, crucially, in order to discuss the positive and creative opportunities that electronic media provide for young people. In each area, potential policy responses are discussed. Version of Record
Chapter
Technology has changed almost every sector of society, but there are little changes in education compared with changes in the other sectors. In the past, research mainly focused on using technology to improve learning performance or teaching efficiency. However, little attention has been paid to the influence of technology on the characters of students and teachers themselves. Students and teachers are the two most important factors in any educational system. In this age of transformations, attention should be paid to the changes in students and the knowledge of teachers. In this chapter, we first discuss the character of students who have grown up with digital technologies and the Internet. Then, we analyze the changes in teachers’ knowledge, and what knowledge needs to be developed. Finally, we analyze the challenges, changes, and the competences for students and teachers in this digital age from the perspective of an educational ecosystem.
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In the field of online learning, instructors need to move past the limitations that are imposed by a traditional instructional design mindset and embrace new ways of approaching instruction. Online learning can remove barriers of space and time and provide a learning experience that is focused on the learner. Educators need to understand the way technology is reinventing communication and enhancing how information is processed. Only by accepting the unconventional instructional designs that technology can bring, can educators be prepared to reach and teach the students of this digital age.
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A Walk Through the Law Library In 2011 If one were to walk through the main reading room in the library at Harvard Law School on more or less any day during the school year, one would find most of the seats occupied by students. These students are arrayed, elbow to elbow, at long tables beneath a high, vaulted ceiling and the steady gaze of legal luminaries from the past (mostly white men, some in wigs). Though they are from many walks of life and are of varying ages, the students often have the very same objects in front of them. Some of these objects are what one would expect of young people of their generation, immersed in study. Coffee is ordinarily close at hand, primarily in school-approved, oversized mugs with tight lids to protect the library and its books from spillage; there is also a laptop computer, connected to the wireless network as an on-ramp to the Internet. But there is another common feature as well: an old-fashioned bound thick legal casebook. These casebooks look very much like what law books have looked like for more than a century. They are an enduring feature of the study of law – even in our increasingly digital age.
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Chapter
This paper is a review of recent researches on digital multitasking. Claiming that digital technologies are changing the traditional roles of a teacher and a student, we must clearly understand a kind of effects arised at the moment digital technologies are used in the classroom. Moreover, the methods of applying digital technologies for the success of students’ academic progress are not always obvious to the teacher himself. The goal of the research analysis on digital multitasking in education problem is to identify shifts in settings and accents from the operationalism methodology to attempts of application of analytical philosophy of consciousness methodology and/or postmodern philosophy. This allows us to analyze the intentions, motives of the educational process participants and thereby define new conceptual boundaries of digital multitasking.
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This article is a review of recent researches on digital multitasking problem. Claiming that digital technologies are changing the traditional roles of a teacher and a student, we must clearly understand a kind of effects arised at the moment digital technologies are used in the classroom. Moreover, the methods of applying digital technologies for the success of students’ academic progress are not always obvious to the teacher himself. The goal of the research analysis on digital multitasking in education problem is to identify shifts in settings and accents from the operationalism methodology to attempts of application of analytical philosophy of consciousness methodology and / or postmodern philosophy. This allows us to analyze the intentions, motives of the educational process participants and thereby define new conceptual boundaries of digital multitasking.
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Different forms of learning and memory depend on functionally and anatomically separable neural circuits [Squire, L. R. (1992) Psychol. Rev. 99, 195–231]. Declarative memory relies on a medial temporal lobe system, whereas habit learning relies on the striatum [Cohen, N. J. & Eichenbaum, H. (1993) Memory, Amnesia, and the Hippocampal System (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA)]. How these systems are engaged to optimize learning and behavior is not clear. Here, we present results from functional neuroimaging showing that the presence of a demanding secondary task during learning modulates the degree to which subjects solve a problem using either declarative memory or habit learning. Dual-task conditions did not reduce accuracy but reduced the amount of declarative learning about the task. Medial temporal lobe activity was correlated with task performance and declarative knowledge after learning under single-task conditions, whereas performance was correlated with striatal activity after dual-task learning conditions. These results demonstrate a fundamental difference in these memory systems in their sensitivity to concurrent distraction. The results are consistent with the notion that declarative and habit learning compete to mediate task performance, and they suggest that the presence of distraction can bias this competition. These results have implications for learning in multitask situations, suggesting that, even if distraction does not decrease the overall level of learning, it can result in the acquisition of knowledge that can be applied less flexibly in new situations. • hippocampus • learning • striatum
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