An investigation by cognitive neuroscientists at two universities has confirmed what a few of us have known all along - some people genuinely can concentrate better with 15 browser tabs open.
The BBC reports that so-called 'Supertaskers' make up just 2.5% of the population, and can actually concentrate better the more their attention is divided. The effect came to light during an experiment where the poor participants had to use a driving simulator, keeping a set distance from the car in front while also taking a hands-free phone call and being pelted with word lists and maths problems. Unsurprisingly, they all did terribly - except for one person, who aced it.
The experimenters ran the test again with a sample of 200, and found a total of three men and two women who could handle this insane amount of distraction without impacting their driving skills - some even did better. Presumably these people often have small kids in the back of the car.
If you're already wondering whether you're a Supertasker, the BBC and the universities of Utah and Tasmania have created a test - but it's hard,weird, and takes ages - about 40 minutes - and has to be done at a desktop computer. Good luck hiding that from your boss. [BBC]
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