Attentional Searchlight - Deepstash

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Attentional Searchlight

  • While the prefrontal cortex region of the brain had long been studied by neuroscientists, a separate region of the brain, called thalamus came in the picture in 1984, by a new theory that suggested that the region acts as a gatekeeper of the senses, apart from being a relay centre.
  • The region has a thin layer of inhibitory neurons wrapped around it, called the thalamic reticular nucleus(TRN), which acted as ‘gates’ and hid or removed some of the data that is not required at a given time, to establish a level of focus for the individual.
  • The study found that the brain was lowering the unwanted signals to help us focus on the stimuli of interest.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

The brain’s ability to focus on one thing while obscuring, curbing or reducing the signal strength of other (presumably unwanted) stimuli can be dangerous if those turn out to be unexpectedly important.

Neuroscientists are now also looking at the basal ganglia region of the brain, commonly associated with motor control, apart from reward-based learning and decision making.

Even with massive amounts of information drowning our senses, we can focus on what is important and take action.

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