Brain Clutter Filter Identified OCD

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New hope has been brought to patients suffering from conditions ranging from obsessive compulsive disorder to ADHD and Tourettee Syndrome, thanks to new research.

The research suggests that an identification of the filters that can remove the feelings of brain clutter these persons complain of has been made. Whilst when damage to the prefrontal cortex of the brain is increasingly becoming associated with a loss of inhibition, inappropriate behaviour and impulsivity the reasons why have remained elusive to date.

This has made it very difficult for the treatment and diagnosis of patients.

Commenting on the new research is Julia Martinez-Trujillo who is a professor at McGill University Department of Physiology. She is also the Chair of Visual Neuroscience in Canada. With the research there is now a backed up belief that ‘brain clutter’ experienced by those where there is abnormal activity in the prefrontal cortex, is driven by a break-down of performance of specific types of brain cells.


Neurons have been identified contained in the dorsolateral sub region of this part of the brain, which act in filtering out based on a selection process, visual information that is not important.

We need to rid ourselves of the unimportant information to function normally, and these filters act in this manner, ‘the filter neurons’ strongly inhibiting unimportant information when there is a visual clutter, this then allows the brain access to only what is important.

Brain Limitations

Julia said,”Contrary to common beliefs, the brain has a limited processing capacity. It can only effectively process about one per cent of the visual information that it takes in.” This may surprise many persons given the belief that the brain is totally underutilised, but the reality is that where there is abnormal filtering the programming actions of the brain are in a constant state of competition with each. The competition is in other to gain access to the information that is important.

Info Suppressers

When the research scientist took to examining the behaviour of these neurons in the prefrontal cortex, it was discovered that the adequate performance of a single action when visual clutter was present was down to the suppression abilities of distracting information.

The Hope

It is now believed that these results will assist in the identification the underlying causes and indeed the diagnosis of many mental disorders including ADHD and schizophrenia. Therese Lennert a Vernier Scholarship student working towards her PhD conducted the research.


Brain clutter is also experienced by persons who have autism, and it is normally seen examined in this regard. It is due to an over-stimulation of inputs on the senses.

This may be down to a sensory overload pertaining to the amount of verbal input in a conversation. It can be too much visual stimulation too. Either way, the result is that there is a sensory overload, and an inability to handle all of the input leading to a lack of performance or despair on the part of the individual.

Mind Power

It has been determined elsewhere, and you will read elsewhere on this site how through study the reasons behind bad driving by the elderly have been determined, and it is down to the function of the brain. How it can only process so much data at one time.

On the drivers behalf, the additional input of other vehicles or objects in the periphery of view proving too much information for the brain to handle.

It does surprise many people, even scientists that this is the case. It has long been believed that the brain is capable of processing far much more than the inputs we receive, and not as this study determines; less.

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