Skip to comments.Why can't the human body multi-task?
Posted on 11/12/2017 9:37:11 AM PST by sodpoodle
Why can't the human body multi-task? If you turn your right foot and move it slowly in a clockwise circle. So you're going round in a circle with your foot. Then writing a number 6 with the same hand that you're moving your foot on a piece of paper. But the better way to show this actually is to take your hand on the same side of your body as you're moving your foot. Now, try and make that move in a circle in the opposite direction to your foot. The foot follows the hand. Why does that happen?
It's very, very difficult. You can do it with practice, but it is incredibly hard to do. If you try and do that number 6, you'll find that number 6 flips around, and you start drawing it backwards. And the reason for this is to do with the way your brain codes for movement. Because you can easily do that if you use the opposite sides of the body. If you've got a hand which you do a clockwise circle with and your right hand and then you use your left leg, you'll easily do a circle in the anticlockwise direction because you're using two different sides of your brain. If you're trying to use the same side of your body, the motor cortex which is the bit of the brain which codes for movements, the way this is working is that it doesn't actually code for a brain cell, telling a muscle what to do. The brain actually codes for movements by what's called a tuning curve. So you have a cluster of nerve cells which fire off when you want to make a movement with a part of the body into a certain direction in space. And those nerve cells don't just switch on muscles that move say, just the arm. They switch on muscles which would move your leg in the same direction too, but they turn them on a bit less than the motor neurons that control the arm. So basically, you're facilitating or making it easier for your leg to move in the same direction as your arm. But it takes a little bit more switch on to make the leg move as well. Therefore, if you try then to make a movement in the opposite direction with the leg, you're basically facilitating another group of nerve cells to move in the opposite direction. So the two things are trying to fight it out and it's, whichever one wins, actually ends up going in that direction, and the arm is such a dominant force that's somewhat brain devoted to it, that I think it probably overwhelms the signal for the leg which is why the leg finds it hard to be dominant in that way. But it's an amazing demonstration, isn't it? It's great fun. You can have a lot of fun with that at parties.
Fun family experiment. Try it!!!!!
I tried this a few months ago.
I couldn’t draw a 6, but I sent the paper in and was admitted to art school.
Pot in, watch in tv, playing online poker,tracking wife’s GPS and planning lunch ...
The playing of musical instruments demonstrates how the body can do multiple different tasks at the same time.
Piano for instance. Bass keys, treble keys, foot pedals and then singing on top of all that.
“You can do it with practice”
So in fact the human body can “multitask”.
Having read the article, I taught myself to write with my left hand, because I had a couple of friends who wrote lefthanded, and it was fascinating to watch how they did that.
Can't do it any more, because I lost most of the use of my left hand in an accident in 2011, but I did pretty good at it once upon a time.
Many people have favorite anecdotes or antics that they trot out at parties or in social settings - especially bars. They typically involve feats of strength, dexterity, or mastery or the arcane or trivial.
One of my favorites involved twiddling my thumbs. I would say, “Most people know how to twiddle their thumbs forwardly” (demonstrate with a quick clockwise twiddle), “or backwardly” (demonstrate with a quick counter-clockwise twiddle), “but can you twiddle in opposite directions simultaneously?!”, and I would demonstrate by alternating my left and right thumbs in either direction.
It was no great feat - just a rote memory thing that I taught myself - but it seldom failed to intrigue those who saw it. Filed under “stuff that humans do to amuse each other” LoL
Try an organ, with feet doing the lead, and two different accompaniment types on separate keyboards.
Total spastic at first, but we learn.
, the massive nerve bundle which connects the two brain hemispheres, and lets each know what the other is doing. There is some human research on people who have had that severed for other reasons, as controlling epileptic seizure.
I'm not sure of how independent the separated halves are on self-initiated muscular activity.
But, there have been split vision experiments which demonstrate that the two halves can register different information. In one I remember, they would flash images to the two different eyes and ask the patient what they saw. In one experiment, after circles, squares, colors, variable differential exposure time, etc., the flashed a nude picture to the eye which was in the hemisphere opposite the speech centers. THe subject, a woman, burst out laughing. When asked what she was laughing about, she couldn't exactly say. As I remember, she said, "Oh, I don't know, such a funny picture." Remember, the part of the brain associated with speech hadn't seen the picture.
I made Dean's List once upon a time at GA Southern. 10 As and one C.
The C was in Piano.
Wish I had changed the title - it’s not totally accurate. The experiment is hilarious and that’s what I wanted to share.
If it weren’t for multitasking, I would never get everything I have to do daily accomplished. If I’m on FR, it’s a guarantee that I’m doing 4-5 other things as well.
[[The foot follows the hand. Why does that happen?]]
I can pat my head while moving my other hand in a circle on my tummy, first try!
The foot/hand thing, not so much.
Everyone at work that uses a company vehicle was recently forced to take a “Distracted Driving” course. The prevailing “expert” opinion is that we can’t simultaneously carry out tasks or do things. Rather, we divide our attention into “micro-slices” and shift back and forth from task to task in these slices of focus.
Since the human mind can’t carry out multiple instructions simultaneously, we aren’t technically multitasking. I call bullspit - that the course involved semantically hair-splitting exercises, but I was able to answer the questions on their test to their satisfaction.
I can’t do it ...... LOL!!
What about piano playing? That is the left and right hands operating independently.
Same for percussion.
In fact, most music is pure multiprocessing.
sorry — I posted before I saw your post.
But trillions of neurons are all firing away, muscles are moving my lungs, lungs are transporting oxygen to blood, heart is pumping that blood to remotes parts of my body, chemicals are being transported across artery walls, endocrine glands are working, digestion system is breaking down food, releasing saliva, moving wasted downward, renal system is filtering waste from the blood, skin is preventing diseases from entering, vision is telling me what’s in front of me, aural system is constantly listening, olfactory system tells me the cat box needs cleaning, hair and nails are growing nonstop, and a gazillion other systems at work.
Yeah, the human body cannot multi-task. Right.
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