Attention, working memory, and media multitasking

Jacob T. Fisher, Justin Robert Keene

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Media multitasking is a near-ubiquitous behavior in the modern world. Media multitasking has been associated with deficits in cognitive processing, but inconsistent and conflicting findings in this area point to the need for theoretical and operational clarity. This chapter outlines a neurophysiological approach to media multitasking research. First, it highlights brain networks that enable focused attention, distraction, and task switching. Second, it discusses how unique characteristics of digital media facilitate certain patterns of multitasking. Finally, three neurophysiological dimensions of media multitasking are outlined, providing a baseline for considering the relationship between multitasking behavior and potentially suboptimal cognitive outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Communication Science and Biology
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781351235570
ISBN (Print)9780815376712
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


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