|M.Sc Student||Singer Adi|
|Subject||Breakfast and Multitasking - Concurrent Performance|
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Daniel Gopher|
|Full Thesis text|
Multitask performance and management has been a frequent context in contemporary cognitive research for the study of attention capabilities and executive control. Craik and Bialystok (2006) developed a breakfast preparation computer task in which two virtual tasks, food cooking and table setting, are performed and synchronized concurrently. Their studies were conducted in a single experimental session, aimed to investigate multitask management and executive control in older adults and clinical populations. A closer examination of their results raises two important questions:
1) Mode of concurrent performance - whether concurrent performance is performed under an integrated-demand Resource Sharing processing mode, or whether the tasks are disjoint and processed by Task Switching, and furthermore whether the mode of multitask performance is mutable and may be altered.
2) The influence of training on multitask cooking and table setting performance.
The present work conducted a set of three experiments to explore the possibility of modifying the tasks’ mode over training, the first manipulating task difficulty over 3 sessions of training but resulting in lack of resource sharing. The second experiment added a manipulation of task demands using additional Working Memory requirement on both tasks to force joint resource demand, however significant evidence of a change from the task switching model was not found. Finally, the third experiment added Emphasis Change protocol to the Breakfast Task to manipulate the relative priority of the Cooking and Table Setting tasks. In conclusion, we found that the training did not result in Resource Sharing, but differences in the nature of the two tasks led to the finding that the discrete, self-paced Table Setting task better lends itself to adapting variable priority strategies than the continuous and externally paced Cooking task.