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date: 25 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

The goal of this chapter is to provide an account of multitasking from the perspective of brain function and cognition using the new information gleaned from brain imaging science. By comparing the brain activation patterns observed in multitasking to the activation in the component tasks, it is possible to discover what is neurally distinctive and costly about multitasking. The neurocognitive account relates multitasking to the coordination of two large-scale cortical networks underlying each of the two tasks and a network of executive control. This approach provides new answers to several timeless questions about multitasking, such as the nature of the limited brain resources for which two tasks compete, the role of automaticity of one of the tasks being co-performed, and the brain effects of training.

Keywords: Multitasking, fMRI, brain imaging, brain networks, neural resources, neural mechanisms, training effects, executive function, automaticity

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