Divided Attention Do all of our cognitive processes withdraw from the same cognitive bank? How is it that we are able to drive a car, chew gum, talk on the phone and listen to music all at once? Is it possible that our mental resources are somehow specialized in such a way so that different tasked are allocated different resources at different strengths? Our brain is unfathomable in it’s ability distribute responsibility to different regions and the storage of it’s memory will and can never be known. With technology many questions are being answered and with regards to divided attention. Brain imaging techniques such as the PET scan uses 2-deoxyglucose, which is injected into the patient’s carotid artery. Because of its similarity to glucose (brain fuel) it is absorbed by active energy consuming neurons. Fortunately this form of glucose derivative does not become metabolized hence giving us the researcher the ability to tell where the activity is located with a precision of a few millimeters. The PET scan was at on time the only tool used to find the location of neurological processes but now they have fMRI, which is less time consuming and less messy. With these imaging tools, the use of the computerized tachistoscope and the educated inferences by highly educated individuals we are getting closer to understanding the brain and the complex web of processes present in divided attention. There are two theories that try to explain the phenomena of divided attention. The first states that all tasks are basically the same in regards to where they obtain their resources. The second calls for a more complex task-specific resource pool. General resource theory states no matter what the nature of the tasks are they all compete for the same limited pool of resources. With this theory in mind all we need to be concerned with is the resource demand, the combined cost of all the individual tasks at hand. If the combined demand for the tasks…
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