#53ideas 23 – There is such a thing as too much information


The human brain is extraordinarily powerful and flexible but not infinitely so – there are limits to how much information it can handle at once, and how many things it can do at once. Exceed the limits and things can go wrong. The brain can be conceived of as having a central processing unit, like a computer, with a fixed total capacity. This processor may be called upon to carry out many tasks simultaneously. The demands of one task may compete with the demands of another for the limited information processing capacity which is available. When that happens, sometimes one or more of the competing demands are essentially put on hold so that a higher priority demand can be seen to first.

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