Recently multitasking has earned a bad reputation for reducing our efficiency when engaging in it. But if you are multitasking with different media, it might offer some benefits after all. Researchers from The Chinese University of Hong Kong decided to find out if there was any good side to media multitasking—switching between email, phone, texting and so on as it was believed that it impairs a person’s cognitive abilities.
To everyone’s surprise, they found that those who frequently use different types of media at the same time appear to be better at integrating information from multiple senses—vision and hearing in this instance—when asked to perform a specific task.
Those who media multitasked the most tended to be more efficient at multi-sensory integration. The authors conclude: “Although the present findings do not demonstrate any causal effect, they highlight an interesting possibility of the effect of media multitasking on certain cognitive abilities, multisensory integration in particular. Media multitasking may not always be a bad thing.”