16

As part of my PhD within the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), one of the things I am trying to support the user in is multitasking. This might be relevant for you since interruptions and multitasking are highly interlinked. I'll refer you to some of the key papers I encountered during my background research, including some on the effects of ...


15

The widely quoted figure of "10% at a time" is actually overestimating simultaneous brain activity by up to an order of magnitude. As demonstrated by Lennie 2003 (Current Biology), the number of neurons that can be substantially active concurrently is possibly as small as 1% of the brain's neurons, due to the high metabolic cost of spiking. Generally, ...


8

How much sleep is needed for peak cognitive performance. If some were for >example wake up one morning at 12:30 pm would a sleeping pill help obtain >better sleep required for that performance the next morning at 08:00 am ? It depends on what pharmacotherapies - per the clinical judgement of their treating physician - one may have consumed. Conceptually, we ...


7

As mentioned in a recent study by Thompson et al. (2012), there are two perspectives which account for the effects of background music on reading comprehension specifically (but as I argue later, these seem generalizable): the Cognitive-Capacity hypothesis and the Arousal-Mood hypothesis. In short, the potential cost of background music listening for ...


7

A caveat: "productivity" is not a term used much by cognitive science, so I'll talk about cognition instead. It's not necessarily the same thing, but it's more of an answered question. And as a general issue: any time a question has "more" in it, the real question is "more than what?" More productive early in the morning than later in the morning? More ...


6

From the Wall Street Journal: Office workers are interrupted—or self-interrupt—roughly every three minutes, academic studies have found, with numerous distractions coming in both digital and human forms. Once thrown off track, it can take some 23 minutes for a worker to return to the original task, says Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the ...


6

Alcohol consumption causes deficits in motor coordination by affecting the cerebellum, which is the main area involved in regulating finer adjustments in movement and motor learning. From Belmeguenai et. al (2008): It has previously been shown that ethanol modulates inhibitory transmission in the cerebellum and affects synaptic transmission and plasticity ...


6

I've discussed a lot of this recently on my answer to this question: Are there recent theories on physiognomy? In summary, yes. Can't remember which of the tons I referenced mentioned well-being, but if you run a search function (Ctrl F, or ⌘F if you don't like good computers) on the text of the freely available articles I provided hyperlinks for, I ...


6

Far from being one single organ performing a single homogeneous function, the brain is actually several lobes, and each lobe is like a separate organ performing a dozen functions. Putting it in another way, the brain is not like a "thinking machine", it is more like a collection of computers, instrument panels of an aircraft, radars and sonars of a submarine,...


5

Our university has a public grade distribution database, so I did a really quick analysis on some historical data to see if there was any support for this idea. To my surprise, it appears that there might be. But, my analysis is very limited. I downloaded the grade distributions for all intro psychology and intro computer science classes from 2010-2014. ...


5

Ahh yes, The Secret. I'd recommend starting with Wikipedia for a critical view of the "law of attraction" and the book as a whole. The former page has some particularly good excerpts to offer (emphasis added; hyperlinks not preserved, though I'd appreciate help editing them back in): Skeptical Inquirer magazine criticized the lack of ...


5

Andrew Gelman has blogged and published about the "hot hand" phenomenon from a statistical perspective. His statistical perspective is probably fairly authoritative, and his psychological perspective, at least in being very inclusive, not implausible. His basic idea is the following: Previous wins are very unlikely to have no effect on future performance. ...


5

This section from the Wikipedia page on Neuroplasticity indicates (emphasis mine) Reviews of MRI studies on individuals with ADHD suggest that the long-term treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with stimulants, such as amphetamine or methylphenidate, decreases abnormalities in brain structure and function found in subjects ...


5

Yes. In one famous experiment,a college basketball team was divided into three groups. Group 1 was supposed to show up to practice shooting baskets for a week on a daily basis. Group 2 was asked to "think about" practicing shooting baskets during the alloted time, without showing up. Group 3 was asked to "forget about" basketball for the week. After the ...


5

First, it is important to disambiguate between concurrent multitasking and sequential multitasking (Salvucci et al, 2009). In a recent publication I present a short overview on related work of both (Jeuris and Bardram, 2016): During concurrent multitasking cognitive resources have to be divided across several competing parallel tasks, such as driving ...


5

Marks and Nesse investigated evolutionary causes of anxiety disorders and reported about embarrassment in particular: Social threats evoke responses that promote group acceptance, for example, submission to dominants and to norms of dress, mien, odor, speech, customs, beliefs. This prevents dangerous extrusion from the group. Mild shyness and ...


4

Masturbation in men or women does not negatively affect cognitive processes As I pointed out in another question in Health.SE, masturbation was a diagnosable psychological condition until DSM II in 1968 (Ley, 2014), and the American Medical Association consensually declared masturbation as normal in 1972 (Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 2003). ...


4

Yes, there are several studies which found links between the amount of training and the effect of it on cognitive abilities. See the below for references and summaries of some of these: Jaeggi, Susanne M., et al. "Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105.19 (2008): 6829-6833. Jaeggi ...


4

Unlike a computer, where the circuitry is information agnostic (it can represent anything digital), neural networks (both biological and artificial) are not. The organization of neurons (their connections and the strengths of those connections) determines what they represent and how they process information. Thus, the visual cortex cannot be recruited for ...


4

Neurons are extraordinarily expensive to make, maintain, and use (Laughlin et al, 1998; Stone 2018). Half of a child's energy budget, and a fifth of an adult's budget, is required just to keep the brain ticking over (Sokoloff, 1989; Levy and Baxter, 1996). For both children and adults, half the brain's energy budget is used for neuronal information ...


4

General points about practice effects Intelligence tests differ in how much they are subject to practice effects. Practice effects can also be distinguished: Time between taking the test: The shorter the timeframe the more likely you will see practice related improvement. General practice on similar tests and similar items versus practice on the same set ...


4

This is the paper you would want to read on this topic. The paper empirically compares four modes of managing interruptions. It is a great (and long) read so I'll try to summarize the bit for you: There are thus four modes of managing interruptions: Immediate interruptions. There is no management whatsoever. As soon there is a distracting stimulus/task, it ...


4

My general understanding is that thinking about executing the motor tasks in your mind can improve skill. It's not as good as actually practicing the task. I'm not sure exactly how conclusive the literature is on what moderates the effectiveness of mental practice. However, presumably, the nature of the task, the nature of the mental activities performed, ...


4

There are quite a few studies on this, but a nice recent one is this: Lee, Taraz G., et al. "Limiting motor skill knowledge via incidental training protects against choking under pressure." Psychonomic bulletin & review 26.1 (2019): 279-290. (https://link.springer.com/article/10.3758/s13423-018-1486-x) They consider a few possible mechanisms, but end ...


3

The game League of Legends utilised an Elo Rating System which incorporated within it a decay system. The decay worked on a user score and reduced it dependent on both user performance and time. Here, user score was an indicator of skill level and was used in another formula to calibrate the actual scores they received from other in-game activities. So, ...


3

Hmm. It's possibly I'm misunderstanding, in which case I will happily retract my answer. But does gamification really apply to, well, games? I thought the idea behind gamification was to take user engagement elements present in games and add them into non-gaming situations to increase user retention/satisfaction etc. So I would say that if you're making a ...


3

Q: Does distraction cause us to skip to the next step in a motor plan? A: It depends on the processes in progress, characteristics of the subject and characteristics of the signal to produce interference (based on an orientation reflex that is the beginning of an act of involuntary attention), many factors, mainly: Characteristics of the process involved ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible