As the title indicates, I don't know how the mind "picks" which sensation to focus on. Considering the huge amount of sense-data being received by the mind each moment, which condition directs consciousness to alight in a specific range of the whole set of sense-data?
I've read that kamma influences where will the "seed" of consciousness grow. But what does this mean, exactly?
In some sources, I've read that "past" namarupa gives to consciousness the content to be known in the present, which allows contact to arise. If that's the case, can we say that where we've placed our attention (as a factor of nama in namarupa) in the past determines where will consciousness will alight in each moment?
EDIT: Some may argue that the intensity of an stimulus might be the main factor in determining where will condition alight. But what will happen when multiple sense-objects have a similar "strength", or when such "strength" is not objectively defined? For instance, what happens when someone is listening to some music? A singer attention might "fall" on the qualities of the singer's voice in the song; a bassist may auomatically pay attention to the bass and the technique behind the player; and a "casual" listener might just hear and pay attention to the overall song.
In sum, I'm asking about the processes that might "filter" the whole range of sense-data input to be processed in the mind, and that determine which portion of that amount of information might be felt as a vedana.
Thanks in advance for your time.