On August 2001, a team led by Professor David Meyer published the
findings of his study on multitasking (in the "Journal of Experimental
Psychology"). According to Meyer et al., multitasking creates health
problems and is not efficient.
You could find the original article, as well as a little more in:
Rubinstein, J. S., Meyer, D. E., & Evans, J. E. (2001). Executive
Control of Cognitive Processes in Task Switching. Journal of
Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 27(4),
Kieras, D. E., Meyer, D. E., Ballas, J. A., & Lauber, E. J. (2000).
Modern Computational Perspectives on Executive Mental Processes and
Cognitive Control: Where to from Here?. In S. Monsell & J. Driver
(eds.) Control of Cognitive Processes: Attention and Performance
XVIII, (pp. 681-712). Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press, 2000.
Meyer, D. E., Evans, J. E., Lauber, E. J., Gmeindl, L., Rubinstein,
J., Junck, L., & Koeppe, R. A. (1998). The role of dorsolateral
prefrontal cortex for executive cognitive processes in task switching.
Poster presented at the meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society,
San Francisco, CA, April, 1998. Abstract published in Journal of
Cognitive Neuroscience, 1998, Vol. 10.
Meyer, D. E., Evans, J. E., Lauber, E. J., Rubinstein, J., Gmeindl,
L., Junck, L., & Koeppe, R. A. (1997). Activation of brain mechanisms
for executive mental processes in cognitive task switching. Poster
presented at the meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society,
Boston, MA, March, 1997. Abstract published in Journal of Cognitive
Neuroscience, 1997, Vol. 9.
Rubinstein, J., Evans, J., & Meyer, D. E. (1994). Task switching in
patients with prefrontal cortex damage. Poster presented at the
meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, CA,
March, 1994. Abstract published in Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience,
1994, Vol. 6.
And could be downloaded from the project's site:
Multitasking and Task Switching
On the same site, you could also find non-academic information on the
subject, from CNN, NPR, ABC, etc.
In another study, Hembrooke and Gay found that multitasking weakens
the abilities of the memory, in comparison to those who did not apply
multitasking (Hembrooke, Helene and Geri Gay, "The Laptop and the
Lecture: The Effects of Multitasking in Learning Environments" Journal
of Computing in Higher Education, Fall 2003, Vol. 15(1) PDF:
An analysis of multi-tasking in the job market provides an alternative
explanation on the importance and effect of multi-tasking and its
impact experience and on the way the work-market is changing:
Multitasking Returns to the Experience
I hope that these studies help. I searched Google for the word
"Multitasking", but added a limitation: site:edu, which brought only
US university sites.
Please contact me if you need any further clarification on this answer
before you tip/rate it.