How Does YOUR Brain Work?

How many things can you think of at one time?

Seriously, how many? We’ve all heard people make statements such as “I’ve got a million things on my mind.”

No doubt, a million is an exaggeration, but how many are you actually able to think about at once?

I’ve got a friend – we’ll call him “Dupp” – who says it’s impossible to think about more than one thing at a time.

I disagree. Maybe a man can think of only one thing at a time but I tend to think women are expert practitioners of having to think about more than one thing simultaneously.

Dupp challenged me. He asked me to think about the Statute of Liberty. He said to picture “Lady Liberty” in my mind. I did so.

Then he said to picture the aircraft carrier Yorktown. I did that also. Within seconds, Dupp told me to go back to Lady Liberty.

Then he proclaimed, “See? You can’t think of both at the same time.”

But I insisted that I had thought of both simultaneously. I pictured Lady Liberty on the deck of the Yorktown. So, Dupp tried again.

This time, he asked me to think of the last book I’d read, and, once again, I did so. Next, he asked me to think once again of the Statute of Liberty, then back to the book. At this point, I had a mental image of the appropriate book – being held by Lady Liberty.

Am I imagining these? Am I truly able to think of two things at once? Are we humans able to divide the brain or thought processes so as to have two things on our minds at once?

There are days when I am reviewing my mental lists of things I need to do, while thinking about where I am and where I am driving, as well as how I am driving, along with what to cook for supper, and whether I’ve paid my bills on time.

What do YOU think? Are we literally able to have more than one thing on our minds at a time? Is this a gender gap? Are women able to “divide” brain activity or multitask – a capability not shared by men?

Just wondering.


Syd said...

I've had to multitask in my career. I must say that your examples were very inventive and good.

Martha said...

I talk on the phone and write or type about something other than what I'm talking about. Definitely thinking of two things at once. Dupp obviously is a man :-).

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