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Every moment of our lives, the world bombards us with a multiplicity of sights and sounds and other information taken in through the senses. These stimuli may be relevant or not to your current cognitive goal, or of such potential importance that, unexpected as the input may be, you must break out of your current goal-directed activities to understand the new input. A mother might be looking for her child in the playground, but may still respond to the sound of her cell phone. An air traffic controller may be busy tracking a large number of display inputs while actively interacting with only one or two. These and myriad other examples reveal that we are exquisitely tuned to the ebb and flow of new information. ...

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