PBS Investigates Whether Multitasking Hurts Teens' Brains

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These days, technology lets us multitask like crazy. We have things like smartphones, video chat, texting, email and video games to keep us busy doing plenty of things at once. But does all this multitasking help or hurt our brains?

That's what PBS NewsHour is trying to find out. According to the channel, some studies show that doing things like talking on your phone while driving decreases your brain power by 40 percent, which is the equivalent of driving while drunk. Wow!
However, other researchers say that teens are adapting to technology in a normal way, and even back their claims by presenting supporting studies. In fact, one shows that video games help teens improve vision, while building brains that are better equipped for the tech-based future.

In the PBS special, science correspondent Miles O'Brien explores the impact of multitasking on brain function and development by talking to several neuroscientists about the subject.

"Kids these days, they're always online, typing, texting, posting, perusing, constantly connected," he says. "Well-informed? Yes, but perpetually tempted and often distracted. Can indulging in all the latest gadgets and gizmos hurt us? Or is it possible we are collectively building better brains?"

We can't wait to find out. PBS NewsHour airs on Wednesday, January 5. Check your local listings here to find out what time you can watch the program.



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