Although I am not a physiologist or neuroscientist, I recently observed a phenomenon. I call it the subconscious response priority.
Here, let it be describe it in an example. When you try to talk to someone who is working, you might observe three kinds of reactions. You can be completely ignored, responded with responses that makes no sense at all, or attentively responded. The last one is an immediate shift of attention from what they are working on onto the purpose of you talking to them - this is in a way an immediate attention shift. However, with the first two aspects, we observe the subconscious response priority.
We can say the first two cases are simply the behavior of a more focused individual. But, this might not explain it well enough. And this is the reason - I am naming this concept the subconscious response priority for the purpose of incorporating all of the cases; plus, focus is a vague concept. If I ask you what the nature of focus is in someone's mind, will you be able to respond to that accurately? I am not sure about you, but I wouldn't be able to. The response priority is my explanation of phenomenon that incorporate individuals that are very focused.
Focus can be said to be the tendency to stay on the subject at hand. The greater the tendency, the more focused you are. They are directly proportional. What causes the tendency is the response priority. The higher the position of a perceptive intake is on the priority ladder for an individual, the higher is the tendency of that for that individual.
Thus, with the processing audio that resembles a language and the processing of the currently focused task as two categories, we can say this:
- If they are close together, one category(stimulus) can easily override the other.
- If they are far away, it would be hard for one category to override the other.
There are definitely other categories that form the subconscious response priority ladder. These categories eventually determine us individuals' actions will be when faced with different kinds of stimuli from the outside world.
In the focused and non-focused case, it is the difference in position of the categories that belong to the focused group (e.g. stay on what is on hand/stay on the main path) and the non-focused group (e.g. response to external stimuli). That explains it.
I have yet to discover the neurological aspects of this idea (unsure where to start).