Washington: A new study has revealed that consistent distraction doesn't hinder learning and inconsistent is the real problem.
According to the study by Brown University, as long as our attention is as divided when we have to recall a motor skill as it was when we learned it, we'll do just fine and if attention was as divided during recall of a motor task as it was during learning the task, people performed as if there were no distractions at either stage.
Lead researcher Joo-Hyun Song said that most learned motor tasks - driving, playing sports or music, even walking again after injury - occur with other things going on and given the messiness of our existence, the brain may be able to integrate the division of attention during learning as a cue that allows for better recall when a similar cue is present.
The researcher said that the underlying assumption people have is that divided attention is bad - if you divide your attention, your performance should get worse. But learning has a later, skill-retrieval part. People haven't studied what's the role of divided attention in memory recall later.
The study was published in the journal Psychological Science.