You're not that great at multitasking, study says

BURBANK, Calif. (KABC) -- A new study suggest humans may not be as good at multitasking as they believe.

New research in the Journal Neuroscience revealed the brain is automatically tuning people and our surroundings out.

"The brain makes choices in order to be able to decide how to complete that task," Dr. Lisa Gasson with Providence St. Joseph Medical Center said.

Researchers discovered people immersed in a visually challenging task aren't able to hear unrelated sounds around them.

Gasson said it's because the brain only uses what's needed to complete one project at a time.

"The brain has 12 visual processing channels and 14 auditory processing channels," Gasson explained.

So when texting or playing a game, which takes up most of the visual channels, the brain turns off most of the audio processing channels.

"In addition to that is something called temporal masking and that masking ability is what keeps you from hearing outside noises," Gasson said.

If the brain didn't turn off unneeded processing channels, human beings would be overwhelmed and unable to function, according to experts.
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