It puts itself on autopilot.
You say: "As I pulled into the office parking lot this morning, I realized I couldn't remember anything about the drive. How is the brain able to work on autopilot like this?"
From brain expert David Perlmutter, MD, FACN: The monarch butterfly has a brain smaller than a pinhead, and yet it can migrate more than 3,000 kilometres to a specific location. Your big brain can certainly allow you to drive to your office without conscious involvement-although I'm not advocating brain-dead driving. Repeated activities and behaviours create packages of information stored in the brain that, over time, become instructions when those activities are repeated. Under normal conditions, we call upon these instructions for familiar tasks and then make minor modifications moment to moment as our environment changes. If you had seen a large object in the road in front of you, your brain would click back on and you would consciously be able to steer around the hazard. -The memory doc is brain expert David Perlmutter, MD, FACN
It confuses itself.