I have heard and often times said "I was just so focused on this... I missed that..." This deals with a concept that we have been discussing in class; illusions, and the fact that our brain will overlook and perceive certain images in a different manner than they actually are. When we are focusing and putting all of our attention on certain information, we will often times ignore or leave out the other information and what else is going on around what we were focusing on. Did you hit the car behind you because you were talking on your phone and not focusing on the car behind you?
An example of this that often occurs in real life is the Cocktail Party Effect which I found to be very interesting and surprisingly true. What it is, is that in a noisy group of people, even when we are not listening to what other people are saying we will often times pick out that our name has been said. This happens because of selective attention, we select a channel and turn down the other channels; the part of the brain that allows us to do this is are the reticular activating system (RAS) and the forebrain. Is this a valid excuse for missing a piece of information or should be still just have been paying attention to it in the first place?
Nice website I found: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/brain/illusions/index.html