Humans not as smart as attention span falls

18 May 2015 - 02:01 By © The Daily Telegraph

The average human's attention span is ... oh look, a bird! According to scientists, the age of smartphones has left humans with such a short attention span that even a goldfish can hold a thought for longer.Researchers surveyed 2000 participants in Canada and studied the brain activity of 112 others using electroencephalograms.The results showed the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000, when the mobile revolution began, to eight seconds. Goldfish, meanwhile, are believed to have an attention span of nine seconds.The study, by tech giant Microsoft, did, however, find that humans' multitasking has improved."Canadians [who were tested] with more digital lifestyles [those who consume more media, are multi-screeners, social media enthusiasts, or earlier adopters of technology] struggle to focus in environments where prolonged attention is needed," it read."While digital lifestyles decrease sustained attention overall, it's only true in the long term. Early adopters and heavy social media users front-load their attention and have more intermittent bursts of high attention."A study by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information and the National Library of Medicine in the US that found 79% of respondents regularly "dual screen" by using portable devices while watching TV.Bruce Morton, a researcher at the University of Western Ontario's Brain and Mind Institute, suggested it was the result of humans craving information.

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