In 2006, UCLA scientists showed that multitaskers and focused learners deploy different parts of the brain when they learn the same thing. Multitaskers fire up their striatum, which encodes the learning more like habit, or what’s known as procedural memory. Meanwhile, those who were allowed to focus on the task without distraction relied on the hippocampus, which is at the heart of the declarative memory circuit that comes into play, say, in math class when you need to apply abstract rules to novel problems. The upshot of the study was that the focusers could apply the new skill more broadly but the multitaskers could not. Multitaskers’ reliance on rote habit would be all well and good if we want our offspring to work on assembly lines, but to do the kind of high-level thinking that experts agree will be key to getting well-paying jobs, we’d better exercise our collective hippocampus.