Higher media multi-tasking activity is associated with smaller gray-matter density in the anterior cingulate cortex

Loh, Kep Kee and Kanai, Ryota (2014) Higher media multi-tasking activity is associated with smaller gray-matter density in the anterior cingulate cortex. PLoS ONE, 9 (9). e106698. ISSN 1932-6203

[img]
Preview
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (2MB) | Preview

Abstract

Media multitasking, or the concurrent consumption of multiple media forms, is increasingly prevalent in today’s society and has been associated with negative psychosocial and cognitive impacts. Individuals who engage in heavier media-multitasking are found to perform worse on cognitive control tasks and exhibit more socio-emotional difficulties. However, the neural processes associated with media multi-tasking remain unexplored. The present study investigated relationships between media multitasking activity and brain structure. Research has demonstrated that brain structure can be altered upon prolonged exposure to novel environments and experience. Thus, we expected differential engagements in media multitasking to correlate with brain structure variability. This was confirmed via Voxel-Based Morphometry (VBM) analyses: Individuals with higher Media Multitasking Index (MMI) scores had smaller gray matter density in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Functional connectivity between this ACC region and the precuneus was negatively associated with MMI. Our findings suggest a possible structural correlate for the observed decreased cognitive control performance and socio-emotional regulation in heavy media-multitaskers. While the cross-sectional nature of our study does not allow us to specify the direction of causality, our results brought to light novel associations between individual media multitasking behaviors and ACC structure differences.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0199 Behaviourism. Neobehaviourism. Behavioural psychology
Depositing User: Catrina Hey
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2014 09:32
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2014 09:42
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/50361

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update