Innovation and brain filtering

Innovation and brain filtering

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Recently I turned up to a hospital for an MRI scan on a back injury. Armed with my appointment letter I was almost looking forward to the experience of seeing what an MRI scan actually feels like.

“You’re 12 hours too early,” the receptionist said.  A closer inspection of the letter clearly stated 11:10 pm. The look on my face must have been a picture.

So after the initial disappointment, I suddenly became enthused that the NHS was exploring different ways to see more patients and get more out of expensive equipment. After all, I suspect there are large parts of a 24hr period where the equipment is at best underutilised.

I also then smiled at how my brain had done a job of filtering out details it didn’t think were relevant. Hospital appointments are ‘normally’ in the day, aren’t they? I bet my brain isn’t alone in doing this type of filtering, in fact, it’s essential they do otherwise we’d get truly overloaded with things to consciously process.

I wonder if I’m the only person who has made this mistake? I’d like to think not…  I also wonder if a small adjustment of using a 24hr clock in the appointment letter might just help our brains to focus on something that doesn’t look right. I’d like to think mine would pick up on 23:10 in a way that 11:10 pm got missed.

In the event, the receptionist took pity on me and managed to fit me in with a cancellation.   Now just the wait for the results.

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