Curiousity primes brain for learning

Posted on October 7, 2014

The more our curiosity is piqued, the easier all learning becomes within a certain period of time, according to new research published in the journal Neuron.

"Curiosity may put the brain in a state that allows it to learn and retain any kind of information, like a vortex that sucks in what you are motivated to learn, and also everything around it,” said lead author Matthias Gruber, Ph.D., of the University of California at Davis.

Findings from the research show that curiosity recruits the reward system, and interactions between the reward system and the hippocampus seem to put the brain in a state in which you are more likely to learn and retain information, even if that information is not of particular interest or importance.

These findings potentially have far-reaching implications for the public because they reveal insights into how a form of intrinsic motivation — curiosity — affects memory. They suggest ways to enhance learning in the classroom and other settings.

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Source material from Psych Central


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