The association between media multitasking and executive function in Chinese adolescents: evidence from self-reported, behavioral and fNIRS data

Jiutong Luo, Hui Li, Pui sze Yeung, Chunqi Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
106 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This study examined the association between media multitasking and executive function in Chinese adolescents by comparing heavy/high and light/low media multitaskers, i.e., HMMs and LMMs, with self-reports, behavioral measures and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). The participants were 12 HMMs (media multitasking scores above the 75th percentile) and 10 LMMs (media multitasking scores below the 25th percentile) chosen from a sample of 61 adolescents. Each participant completed a self-reported questionnaire on executive function and three executive function cognitive tasks: 2-back, Color Stroop, and Number-letter Determination) while wearing the fNIRS. The results indicated that: (1) the HMMs showed more impairment in executive function than the LMMs based on questionnaire data analysis; (2) there were no significant differences between the HMMs and LMMs in their performance on the cognitive tasks; and (3) the HMMs showed greater prefrontal activation than the LMMs during the 2-back and Color Stroop tasks. These findings implied that media multitasking might be associated with the reduced effectiveness in the brain areas responsible for executive function. These findings provide evidence of the negative relationship between media multitasking and executive function; and indicated the benefits of using multiple assessment methods in studying this topic.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalCyberpsychology
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • Media multitasking
  • executive function
  • multiple perspectives
  • fNIRS
  • heavy/light media multitaskers

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