Heavy multitaskers have reduced memory

The smartphones that are now ubiquitous were just gaining popularity when Anthony Wagner became interested in the research of his Stanford colleague, Clifford Nass, on the effects of media multitasking and attention. Though Wagner, a professor of psychology at Stanford University and director of the Stanford Memory Laboratory, wasn’t convinced by the early data, he recommended some cognitive tests for Nass to use in subsequent experiments. More than 11 years later, Wagner was intrigued enough to write a review on past research findings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and contribute some of his own.

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People won’t stop staring at their phones, so this Dutch town put traffic lights on the ground — Quartz

As anyone who lives in a city knows, public sidewalks these days are a free-for-all of pedestrians staggering along, zombie-like, staring intently at the screens of their phones. As well as infuriating other pedestrians, there’s some evidence that this behavior increases our chances of being hit by a car.

To avoid that fate for its smartphone-addicted residents, a Dutch town is trying out a pilot program to put traffic lights where everyone is already looking. On the pavement.

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