The phrase is part of this following line:


Actually I'm also unsure about the role and meaning of the か in the second to last clause too, but, in case it is unrelated to the clause I cited, I thought the meaning would be something on the lines of "The brain decides on what things to remember": I interpreted both か as "nested questions", so it would be something like "the brain thinks どちらか with 処理をしするか処理をしないか as options.

I think the reasoning is pretty convoluted, but it's the only thing I could come up with. I hope somebody may help me. Thanks in advance.

2 Answers 2


普段の生活の中に埋もれている何気ないこと(など) is the topic of this sentence (は is replaced by など). Three predicates, 1) 気にも留めない, 2) 知覚したとしてもすぐに忘れる, and 3) 脳が処理をしない are associated with it. The last two items are in the XかYかのどちらか ("either of X or Y") construction. This か is used to mark options (e.g., 生か死か "dead or alive"; 戦うか逃げるか "fight or flight"), not to form an embedded question.

So the basic structure of this sentence is:

  • TopicなどAし、BCかのどちらかなんだ。
    As for something like Topic, (it's) A, and (it's) either of B or C.


  • Topic = 普段の生活の中に埋もれている何気ないこと
  • A = 気にも留めない
  • B = 知覚したとしてもすぐに忘れる
  • C = 脳が処理をしない


[We don't pay attention]A to [trivial things buried in our daily lives]Topic. It's either [that we forget them at once even if we perceive/recognize them]B or [that our brains don't (even) process them]C.


か is not a question marker but a part of the structure ―か―かどちらか=either - or -. (選択)

The structure of the whole sentence is 'A and (IF B, C or D)', where

  • A=普段お生活の中に埋もれている何気ないことなと気にも留めない
  • B=知覚した
  • C=すぐに忘れる
  • D=脳が処理をしない.

So 脳が処理をしない itself is one of the options that happen.

Roughly, it means: (The subject) doesn't case daily things and, even if (the subj.) perceives them, (the subj.) forgets it immediately or (the subj.'s) brain does not process them.

  • 1
    – naruto
    Dec 18, 2022 at 5:04
  • 1
    @naruto 自分としては(B->C) or Dは読み方としては不自然で、「知覚しても脳が処理しない」というのは「意識に上らない」という意味では(科学的にはともかく)まあ許容範囲だと思いました。
    – sundowner
    Dec 18, 2022 at 14:23
  • @naruto (@)sundowner the source has audio too (youtu.be/vdsNfdWirtk at 1:21), and the narrator takes a relatively long break after the first か. Also the provided english subtitles are: "We go about our lives oblivious to a million different things that happen around us every day. Even when something catches our eye, our brain forgets it a moment later" which seem to totally forget about the D section (or includes it in the first sentence?). Thanks you both for the help! Dec 19, 2022 at 7:34
  • 1
    @GianniTrattore Oh, so it's Steins;Gate :) Judging from the way he spoke, I felt 知覚しても modifies only すぐ忘れる.
    – naruto
    Dec 19, 2022 at 7:40

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