Monday, April 27, 2020

Visual Background Noise

For Lizzie, a lot of items in her room seem to not be visible.

While she loves her music player, she never turns it on by herself anymore. When we turn it on for her, she's always surprised by it.

Earlier in the process when Lizzie was still looking through magazines, she would only ever "see" the top one, she would never realize there was a stack of different magazines.

Even earlier in the process before Lizzie moved into the home, Lizzie stopped "seeing" the dust bunnies, the rings from tea mugs on the coffee table, the spots on the bathroom sink or mirror.

a blurry picture of a man holding his glasses away from his face
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

It seems like there is too much visual background "noise". Obviously, noise isn't the correct term as you can't see noise... at least I don't think you can. But the concept is the same.

In school, we teach kids to filter out the unimportant background noise and focus in on the important noise happening within the classroom. This works well until something interesting happens outside the window or in the hallway. Then all the attention turns in that direction.

For Lizzie, it's as if her brain is so focused on handling the important details of what she's thinking about or doing, that it ignores whatever isn't relevant to the immediate task.

Once the item is pointed out to her, she can see it, but until then, it's not visible.

I wonder if the brain only has so much available "power" and only focuses on what it thinks is important at the time.

How about you? Have you experienced your Loved One not "seeing" things that are there? Any thoughts on visual background noise?

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