Curiosity Is Under Attack

10 Jul 24 Rachel Pearson


What does a neuroscientist say about our waning curiosity in an age of digital distractions?

Curiosity is Under Attack, So What Do You Do About It?

Neuroscientist, Kings College Researcher and Ness Labs founder, Anne-Laure Le Cunff, explores the critical role of curiosity in human nature and how it’s being challenged in the modern world.

At our 5th Tilt Talk ‘The Curiosity Heist and How to Steal It Back’ Anne-Laure spoke about the impact of technology, particularly social media, on our innate desire to explore and learn. By examining the shift from survival-driven curiosity to screen-focused attention, she highlights the urgent need to reclaim and nurture our natural inquisitiveness.

Here are the key points and insights from the film

Social media is a major risk to human curiosity

  • It’s called a “social feed” because it constantly feeds us information.
  • It exploits our brain’s craving for new information.
  • It encourages superficial engagement rather than deep exploration.

Today’s environment is not conducive to curiosity

  • Chronic stress puts our brains in survival mode.
  • Constant communication, notifications, and information overload scatter our attention.
  • Scattered attention leads to scattered curiosity.
  • Many people experience more algorithm-controlled curiosity than purposeful, self-directed curiosity.