By Steve Gomes | 10 January 2017 11:30amA new study by psychologists at the University of Texas at Austin shows that when you study maths at home, it actually makes your brain less efficient at processing information, and in turn, your performance decreases.
The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, found that people who were more likely to be able to multitask while studying at home were more efficient at the task than those who were less efficient.
“There’s a lot of literature that has suggested that when we are doing intensively complex tasks, the brain is not getting as many resources from the rest of the brain,” Dr David Pimentel, the study’s lead author and a researcher in the Department of Psychology at UT Austin, told the BBC.
“So when we have lots of tasks at once, we have a big boost in the efficiency of the whole brain.”
In this example, the left hemisphere is responsible for processing visual information, while the right hemisphere is the main processing brain for verbal information.
In the study, participants were given an array of images and asked to determine which images contained words in them.
The experimenter could then determine the relative strength of the words in each image by asking participants which of the two images contained the words they wanted to hear.
In general, words with strong phonemes or strong consonants were more strongly represented than words with weak phonemics or weak consonants.
But the researchers found that those who studied at home showed a reduction in the ability to quickly find the correct words, as measured by the accuracy of their word recognition skills.
“We’re not saying that we think that that is necessarily the case,” Dr Pimentels said.
“But we did find that the home study participants tended to show a greater tendency to have a tendency to look for the correct word, when they had a lot to do.”
Dr Pimentes said the study was important because it suggests that it is not just the home environment that affects the amount of information your brain can process, but also the amount that your brain processes.
“The home environment affects the information processing in a way that has an impact on how much your brain makes available to you in the form of information that is useful and that you’re able to use for learning,” he said.