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The Downside of Multi-Tasking – This Week on Sound Medicine


New research finds that multi-tasking actually tires the brain. With Sound Medicine’s Steve Bogdewic, Ph.D., will be University of Michigan neuroscientist Marc Berman, Ph.D. , who will explain how multi-tasking depletes our direct attention and leads to mental fatigue. Dr. Berman also will list activities that rest the brain and improve cognitive function.

A popular annual event called the National Drug Chat Day allows students to ask scientists about the effects of taking drugs. To find out how it works, Sound Medicine’s David Crabb, M.D., will meet with Cindy Miner, Ph.D., deputy director at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the group that sponsors the event, which is part of National Drug Facts Week.  Dr. Miner will explain how the event was conceived and how students can take part.

In a “Doc Chat” session with program host Barbara Lewis, Sound Medicine co-host David Crabb, M.D., will provide details about a new alcohol screening component in medical resident training. Dr. Crabb, a medical educator and alcohol researcher at Indiana University, will give examples of what doctors might ask patients about their alcohol consumption.

The new book Clutch explores why some people perform well under pressure and others do not. Dr. Bogdewic will speak with the book’s author Paul Sullivan, a columnist for the New York Times. Sullivan will share the traits of well-known “clutch players” and provide advice for those of us who tend to fade or “choke” under pressure.

Sound Medicine’s Kathy Miller, M.D., checks in with a researcher she interviewed several years ago, Alan Beck, Sc.D., who directs the Center for Human Animal Bond at Purdue University’s School of Veterinary Medicine. Beck studies whether people bond with robotic dogs as well as with “carbon-based” dogs.

Finally, Sound Medicine’s Eric Metcalf has a basic question about sleep studies:  How do participants sleep with all those electrodes taped to their face and body? In this week’s Checkup feature, Metcalf will pose the question to David Kuhlmann, M.D., a sleep expert with Bothwell Regional Health Center in Sedalia, Mo. 

For archived editions and other helpful information check the Sound Medicine website.

Sound Medicine is underwritten by Clarian Health, IU Medical Group and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Reports on Primary Health Care topics are sponsored by Wishard Health Services.


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