Why does noise stop me thinking?

29th July 2010
Why does noise stop me thinking?

Asked by: GEORGE MILLS, BRISTOL

Concentrated thought often requires us to hold many different abstract variables in mind at once or a complex visualisation of a possible scenario. But we have evolved to prioritise external sources of stimulation over our own internal thoughts.
This distractibility is advantageous when that noise is a charging rhino or your child crying in alarm but much less so when it’s next door’s TV turned up too loud.