Like many teens before them, Sarayu Caulfield and Alexandra Ulmer, seniors at Oregon Episcopal School in Portland, Ore., have been told to focus on the task at hand; don’t multitask. Yet, with the help of their own research, Caulfield and Ulmer hope to make a case for multitasking at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference & Exhibition taking place this Saturday, Oct. 11.

Essentially, the teens are of the opinion that practice makes perfect. Only instead of, say, practing a sport or musical instrument, most teens today practice juggling email, social media, homework, maybe a meal. "In our current multimedia environment, there are people who are multitasking at an exceedingly high rate, and the reality is that they may have become really good at it," Caulfield said in a press release.

Instead of going to the library or, more realistically, the Internet to sift through backlogged scientific information, Caulfield and Ulmer recruited 196 females and 207 males ages 10 to 19 to answer questions regarding their daily media habits, as well as take the Stanford Multitasking Media Index (SMMI) to establish how often a person multitasks. Then, study participants took tests to assess their ability to switch between tasks and focus on a single one.

The results are what you would expect: Participants who scored low on the SMMI were better at focusing on a single task compared to multitasking, in which the high multitaskers performed worse on single tasks. It all came down to a participant's ability to filter out distractions. “We must emphasize that most people performed best when focused on just one task," Caulfield said. "However, there was a group that provided us with an exception to that finding — the high media multitaskers."

To Caulfield and Ulmer, these results suggest that adolescents who grow up with increased exposure to multimedia develop “an enhanced working memory and perform better in distracting environment than when focused on a single task with no distractions" — which, we have to say, is an interesting idea if only for the impressive initiative these teens took to explore this prevalent topic. It’s also one previously established by the Pew Research Center. Pew not only found about 95 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 are online, a whopping 76 percent on social networking sites, but they also found, by 2020, the brains of multitasking teens will literally be wired differently from those over the age of 35.

What that means: The more stimuli teens are exposed to, and multitask, the more their brain rewires to navigate that stimuli effectively. “Young people and those who embrace the new connectedness are developing and evolving new standards and skills at a rate unprecedented in our history,” Susan Price, CEO and chief web strategist at Firecat Studio and an organizer of TEDx in San Antonio, Texas, told Pew. “Overall, our ability to connect, share, and exchange information with other human beings is a strong net positive for humanity.”

Of course, Pew also cited the negative effects of multitasking, most of which we’ve already become familiar with. Some experts believe that only two percent of the population can truly multitask, while those who consider themselves master multitaskers simply decrease the brain's gray density matter. This is the matter associated with cognitive and emotional processing. However, the latter research has not confirmed in order to say for sure multitasking rewires the brain for the worse.

There are compelling arguments to be made on behalf of multitasking, for sure, but it feels like there's more to it than just a lot of practice. And it feels like two teens from Oregon might be the ones to reveal what those additional principles are; brava.