Here's a look at how we select information. When we need to retrieve relevant information to solve a problem or make a connection, we choose based on prior knowledge of definitions, relationships, and associations, and specifications of the task.
There are distinct and overlapping brain regions important for this sorting process. The common area seemed to be the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) (judgment specificity, associative strength, competitor dominance, number of competitors), and area important for encoding information into long term memory.
For those of you with teens or younger kids, it may not come as a complete surprise that the VLPFC is known to take a long time to mature (into the 20's).
fMRI of Knowledge Selection
Slow Maturation of the Prefrontal Cortex
A Perfect Brainstorm / Inc.com
Brainstorming Research / Review