Does the Brain Filter Out a Wider Awareness?

*This article first appeared on The Huffington Post, Science Section, Used with Permission, 2016.

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The human brain has amazing capacities. It contains billions of neurons, allowing it to process vast quantities of information so that we can function effectively. But can we have too much information? Yes, and, in fact, filtering information, is one of the brain’s most important functions. Brain filtering is an adaptive strategy and ensures that only the information relevant to our goals is allowed into our consciousness. This keeps us from being flooded with irrelevancies that might distract us.

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