A new study shows that people who are focused on visual tasks actually can’t hear what’s going on around them because hearing and vision are performed in the same brain regions.
According to the study published Tuesday in the Journal of Neuroscience, this temporary deafness is called inattentional deafness.
Study coauthor Nilli Lavie, a professor of psychology and brain science at University College London said “You may think that the person is ignoring you. But their brain just can’t respond to your voice. So you shouldn’t take it personally.”
“They’re going to be focusing on the operation and they might not hear alarms. So you need a different person who is in charge of listening.”
Lavie added that similarly if you’re in a meeting at work and talking to a colleague who is looking over some data or a report, don’t assume that what you’ve said has been heard.
They concluded that the brain might have problems multitasking when it was given visual task that required concentration.