Ruby Nguyen, Joe George
Faculty Sponsor: A. Malcolm Campbell
Do One Thing At a Time To Do It Well
In recent years, college students frequently use multiple medias at the same time. We text while reading online or stream Netflix while writing papers. In this study, researchers questioned how media multitasking affects speed and accuracy of information processing and subsequent motor response. Scores from a questionnaire classified 22 participants as heavy media multitaskers (HMMs) and 20 as light media multitaskers (LMMs). Researchers then showed a square in either the top or the bottom half of the screen and directed participants to press the up arrow for the top half or the down arrow for the bottom half. Between each trial, participants either performed breathing exercises or surfed the web. Prior media multitasking impaired their ability to interpret details and accurately send signals to perform a motor response.
Skipping Sleep Makes You Fail
At Davidson College, over 25% of the students compete in D1 athletics. These student-athletes must juggle their training with rigorous classwork—no easy task given there are only 24 hours in a day. Unable to miss class, practice, or games, these students sometimes must cut something out of their day to fulfill their obligations. Often, they choose to cut sleep. Lack of sleep, however, decreases their performance on the field. Robert Stickgold conducted a study to determine the effects of sleep on performance of a motor skill and ultimately determined that sleep increases performance of a motor skills task.