RCA x Imperial

White Noise: An immersive sound installation exploring the neuroscience behind our increasing susceptibility to Fake News

20th March 2017

From scrolling online to watching TV, or even just taking the tube, we often find ourselves consuming multiple information streams, whether we intend to or not. But, does it matter if we’re not really paying attention?

Recent neuroscientific research has shown that when we focus our attention on just one thing, we can block out surrounding distractions. This is known as inattentional blindness or deafness; we do not see or hear the things we are not concentrating on.

However, inattentional blindness is only found when our cognitive resources are fully engaged in the task at hand. When we are exposed to multiple sources of information, the brain’s limited capacity means we often cannot process it all. As a result, information can influence our worldview before we have the chance to apply critical evaluation.

By not paying attention, are we in danger of deception? Is media overload overrated?

Taking place at the Imperial College and the Royal College of Art Multi-Faith Chaplaincy, ‘White Noise’ was an immersive sound installation in collaboration with Dr Jake Fairnie, UCL, seeking to address these important questions and explore our growing susceptibility to Fake News.