The Perils/'peril/ of Multitasking

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How much carbon dioxide you exude makes a difference to how appetizing you are to the buggers。

* (严重的)危险;冒险;险因


We live in the age of multitasking. Though a phenomenon /fə'nɑmɪnən/ of the young, older folks /fok/ are being dragged into the age by the digital revolution in mobile electronic devices. Youngsters/'jʌŋstɚ/, as digital natives, are wired to multitask, but they don't realize how multitasking impairs their thinking skills. We call our phones "smart," but they can actually make us dumb. This may be one of the reasons that underperformance in schools is so common/'kɑmən/.

People with a larger body mass and pregnant people produce more carbon dioxide, which means they‘re also more likely to be bitten

Youngsters/'jʌŋstɚ/N-COUNTYoung people, especially children, are sometimes referred to as youngsters. 年轻人 (尤指小孩)



carbon dioxide /‘kα: b(ə)n/ /daɪ’ɒksaɪd/ 二氧化碳

Older folks tend to be amazed and awed /ɔ:d/ by the multitasking ability of the young. But those in all generations should realize that multitasking does not make you smarter or more productive.

exude /ɪg‘zju: d/ v。 散发;流出;使渗出

awed /ɔ:d/V-TIf you are awed by someone or something, they make you feel respectful and amazed, though often rather frightened. 对…感觉敬畏 [usu passive, no cont]

appetizing /‘æpə’taɪzɪŋ/ adj。 通大便的;促进胃口的

In school, multitasking interferes/ˌɪntɚ'fɪr/ with learning. In the workplace, multitasking interferes with productivity and promotes /prə'mot/ stress and fatigue /fə'tig/. Multitasking creates an illusion /ɪ'luʒn/ of parallel activity, but actually it requires mental switching from one task to another. This drains/dren/ the glucose/'ɡlukos/ fuel /‘fjuəl/ needed by the brain, making the brain less efficient /ɪˈfɪʃənt/ and creating the feeling of being tired.

bugger /‘bʌgə/ n。 家伙

interferes/ˌɪntɚ'fɪr/V-ISomething that interferes with a situation, activity, or process has a damaging effect on it. 妨碍

pregnant /‘pregnənt/ adj。 怀孕的;富有意义的

promotes /prə’mot/V-TIf people promote something, they help or encourage it to happen, increase, or spread. 促进

bitten /‘bɪtn/ vt。 咬(bite的过去分词);刺痛

fatigue /fə'tig/N-UNCOUNTFatigue is a feeling of extreme physical or mental tiredness. 疲惫

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illusion /ɪ’luʒn/N-VARAn illusion is a false idea or belief. 幻想


drains/dren/V-T/V-IIf you drain a liquid from a place or object, you remove the liquid by causing it to flow somewhere else. If a liquid drainssomewhere, it flows there. 使流走; 流走

A higher body temperature could also mean you are more likely to be bitten。

glucose/'ɡlukos/N-UNCOUNTGlucose is a type of sugar that gives you energy. 葡萄糖


Neuroscientist, Dan Levitan, reminds us that multitasking is stressful, as indicated by increased secretion/sɪ'kriʃən/ of cortisol/'kɔrtɪsɑl/ and adrenalin/ə'drɛnlən/. He cites work showing that IQ can temporarily /ˌtɛmpə'rɛəli/ drop 10 points during multitasking. A brain-scan study showed that new information gets processed/'prɑsɛs/ in the wrong parts of the brain and not in the hippocampus/ˌhɪpə'kæmpəs/ where it should go in order to be remembered. The most insidious/ɪn'sɪdɪəs/ aspect/'æspɛkt/ of multitasking is that it programs the brain to operate in this mode, creating a debilitating /dɪ'bɪlɪtet/ thinking habit that is permanent/'pɝmənənt/.

Which again, makes people with a larger body mass and pregnant people more susceptible as they generally have a greater body temperature。 Everyone is also at greater risk when they‘re exercising, because this also raises your body temperature。

secretion/sɪ'kriʃən/N-UNCOUNTSecretion is the process by which certain liquid substances are produced by parts of plants or from the bodies of people or animals. 分泌


adrenalin/ə'drɛnlən/.N-UNCOUNTAdrenaline is a substance which your body produces when you are angry, scared, or excited. It makes your heart beat faster and gives you more energy. 副肾素

temperature /temprətʃə(r)/ n。 温度;体温


susceptible /sə‘septɪb(ə)l/ adj。 易受影响的;易感动的

* n. [解剖][脊椎] 海马;马头鱼尾怪兽(传说中的多少个形象)

raise /reɪz/ v。 提高;筹集;上升

* insidious/ɪn’sɪdɪəs/ ADJSomething that is insidious is unpleasant or dangerous and develops gradually without being noticed. 潜伏的; 暗中为害的

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debilitating /dɪ’bɪlɪtet/ V-TIf you are debilitated by something such as an illness, it causes your body or mind to become gradually weaker. 虚弱 [正式] [usu passive]


Constant switching creates a distractible/dɪ'stræktəbl/ state of never being fully present. It trains the brain to have a short attention span and shrinks working memory capacity. This is especially pernicious /pɚ'nɪʃəs/ in young people, who are most likely to multitask and whose brains are the most susceptible /sə'sɛptəbl/ to programming of bad habits.

Your blood type is also a factor in how likely you are to be bitten。



* adj. 轻巧分心的;不专心的

This study concluded that people with type O blood are significantly more attractive than people with type A blood to mosquitoes。 However, this was a very small study that hasn‘t been repeated since, so take these results with a pinch of salt。

* pernicious /pɚ'nɪʃəs/ADJIf you describe something as pernicious, you mean that it is very harmful. 极为有毒的 [正式]


* susceptible /sə'sɛptəbl/ADJIf you are susceptible to something or someone, you are very likely to be influenced by them. 易受…影响的 [v-link ADJ 'to' n

factor /‘fæktə/ n。 因素;要素

Multitasking not only becomes a habit, it is addictive /ə'dɪktɪv/. I see many youngsters who seem to have withdrawal /wɪð'drɔəl/ symptoms/'sɪmptəm/ if they can't check their phone messages every few minutes. Mail messages send an associated/ə'soʃɪetɪd/ signal that someone thinks you are important enough to contact. This provides/prə'vaɪd/ powerfully reward personal affirmation/ˌæfɚ'meʃən/. Worse yet, like slot /slɑt/-machine 老虎机payoffs, the reinforcement occurs randomly, which is the most effective way to condition behavior. It turns us into trained seals/sil/.

conclude /kən‘klu: d/ v。 推断;决定,作结论


significantly /sɪg‘nɪfɪk(ə)ntlɪ/ adv。 显明地;非常数量地

* n. 撤退,收回;提款;取消;退股

attractive /ə‘træktɪv/ adj。 吸引人的;有吸引力的

symptoms/‘sɪmptəm/ N-COUNTA symptom of an illness is something wrong with your body or mind that is a sign of the illness. 症状

mosquito /mɒ‘ski: təʊ/ n。 蚊子


repeat /rɪ‘pi: t/ v。 重复;复制

* n. 主张,肯定;断言

pinch /pɪn(t)ʃ/ n。 匮乏;少量

addictive /ə’dɪktɪv/ADJIf a drug is addictive, people who take it cannot stop taking it. 使人上瘾的

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associated/ə’soʃɪetɪd/ ADJIf one thing is associated with another, the two things are connected with each other. (与…) 相关联的


seals/sil/N-COUNTA seal is a large animal with a rounded body and flat legs called flippers. Seals eat fish and live in and near the sea, usually in cold parts of the world. 海豹

The same study also showed that only some people secrete chemicals through their skin that indicate what blood type they have。

Why does anybody engage in behaviors that can turn them into a trained seal? One study indicates that susceptibility/sə,sɛptə'bɪləti/ to task switching depends on the existing mental state. The researchers monitored 32 information workers, of near-equal gender, in the work environment for five days. Workers were more likely to switch off-task to Facebook or face-to-face conversations /ˌkɑnvɚ'seʃən/ when they were doing rote /rot/ tasks, which were presumably /pri'zju:-məbli,pri:-/ boring. When they were focused, they were more likely to switch to e-mail. Time wasting in Facebook and e-mail increased in proportion /prə'pɔrʃən/ to the amount of task switching. Overall, the workers witched /wɪtʃ/ to Facebook an average of 21 times per day and to e-mail 74 times. Though the total time spent off-task was small (about 10 minutes on Facebook and 35 min on e-mail, the excessive /ɪkˈsɛsɪv/ task switching must surely have degraded the productivity of the primary /'praɪmɛri/ work tasks. Why does anybody need to check Facebook 21 times a day or e-mail 74 times a day? This is compulsive /kəm'pʌlsɪv/ behavior that has affected the entire workforce like an infectious/ɪn'fɛkʃəs/ disease.


susceptibility/sə,sɛptə'bɪləti/N-VALX570If you have a susceptibility to something unpleasant, you are likely to be affected by it. 易受影响(或损害)的场所

Some people do not secrete those chemicals at all, making them less likely to be bitten, the lucky bastards。

rote /rot/


N a habitual or mechanical routine or procedure 习贯的长河; 机械式的进度

secrete /sɪ‘kri: t/ v。 藏匿;专擅并吞;分泌


chemical /‘kemɪk(ə)l/ n。 化学制品,化学药品

N-UNCOUNT Rote learning or learning by rote is learning things by repeating them without thinking about them or trying to understand them. 死记硬背 [N n, 'by’ N]

through /θru: / prep。 通过;穿过;凭借

presumably /pri'zju:-məbli,pri:-/

indicate /‘ɪndɪkeɪt/ v。 表明;指出;预示

* adv. 差不离;推断起来;可假定

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witch to







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