While many of us are quick to add the term “multi-tasker” to our resumes, in reality, true multitaskers, also known as supertaskers, only make up about 2 percent of the population. Recently, the team at BrainCraft investigated what exactly set this talented bunch apart from the rest of us and even recommended a test for you to find out if you’re actually a secret supertasker.
True multitasking is difficult and although we may attempt to walk and text or drive and talk on the phone, anecdotal evidence has shown that doing two or more tasks simultaneously usually results in us doing one task poorly. Research has suggested that this is because our brain’s prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for decision making and complex behaviors like planning, chooses which visual and auditory information to process at a single time, working much like a switchboard.
Supertaskers are different. Their brains are not only able to process multiple stimuli simultaneously, but they are able to do this with impressive efficiency. In fact, according to University of Utah researcher David Strayer, these individuals actually perform better when doing more than one task at a time, Popular Science reported.
While it’s unclear exactly what it is in the brains of supertaskers that allows them to succeed where most would slow down, there is a way to determine whether or not you are part of this small yet gifted portion of the population; The Dual N-Back game. This game involves remembering a sequence of letters and positions of squares at the same time. Click here and have a go at the test to uncover whether or not you have a secret talent.