The research points to the former:
...researchers asked volunteers to fill out a creative achievement questionnaire and take a test to assess creative cognition. Then, their brain activity was monitored while they listened to closely separated click sounds.The article goes on to describe Darwin, Kafka and a few others as famously distractable and suggests earplugs for those of us with this problem if we want to finish that book - whether that means writing or reading it.
A typical brain responds to the first click a lot stronger than the second, identical click. It’s as if the brain acknowledges it processed something novel and doesn’t need to process the second click to the same extent. But for creative brains—
“They process the second click to the same degree so they don’t censor out information that is repetitive or irrelevant in some sense. “
Perhaps I need Chip Rommel's concentration Camp.