Everything it seems.
For example, our memory is influenced by what we pay attention to. It pays to pay attention if we want to remember something. It signals to the brain that we are now readying ourself for learning and the brain primes itself through the release of neruotransmitters like aceylocholine, critical for learning, blocks off peripheral noise and lets incoming data through the critical gatekeeper – the limbic system – and activates our neomamillian brain – the neocortex, responsible for higher-level thinking and processsing.
As an illustration, entering a seminar room for learning, we would first look out for familiar faces (for comfort), notice the wall clock (for time) and the pantry area (for sustenance) while most of other things take a back seat. A survey was done recently in a survey of how much of environmental print was noticed by a group of teachers in the duration of a course. Most of them could not remember what was put up in the back wall even though they have been in the same room for 2 conssecutive days lasting 6 hours each!
It is natural in fact to expect the brain to perform in this way, given the limited capacity and the bulk of incoming information nowadays, this is the only automatic response to learn what’s most important that directly affects our survival.
Attentional limits or concentration spans can be improved. One of the easiest ways is to do it with colour arrows and colour words.
They are easily downloadable from the net. Try this address:
Important: you must train yourself to read all the 5 rows – first colour, then words, thereafter alternating between the two – in a timed challenge. Beat your own timing. No investments in the world beats the one you spend time in with your brain. Enjoy!