What's really distracting? It's people's faces, not naturally-occurring scenes. For the neurophile, an interesting finding is that distraction could be dissociable. Having to look at someone's face upset the working of the prefrontal cortex, but didn't interfere with the work of visual association cortex.
It's interesting. Maybe it explains why it's easier to think by taking a beautiful drive or walk, and why we often need to get away from people when we're solving difficult problems.
It may also be why young children or individuals with autism spectrum have trouble looking at faces when trying to listen or responding to a question.
Maybe kids with very weak working memories, shouldn't be told to look at the teacher when answering questions?
Distraction, Faces, Natural Scenes pdf
Eide Neurolearning Blog: Brain of the Blogger