Researchers from the George Mason University have revealed that the ability to multitask may have a genetic basis.
Lead researcher Raja Parasuraman from George Mason University and colleagues have hypothesized that people who possess a variant of a gene that controls dopamine levels are better at multitasking than those who do not have this variant. The gene in question is the Catechol-Methyltransferase (COMT) gene.
The study involved 99 men and women aged 18 to 38, who were divided into three groups based on whether they possessed the Val158Met variant of COMT gene. All participants were assigned to control six unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in low- and high-task-load conditions to perform a variety of tasks.
Results indicated that participants with the Met/Met genotype of the COMT gene performed better at multitasking than those who did not have this variant.
The study details are published in the journal Human Factors.