New Curiosity Path in the Brain Identified and its Potential Impact on Wellbeing
Is the sky blue? What makes the wind blow? How do I fix the sink tap?
Does curiosity lead you? Or do you steer away from asking questions?
Curiosity and The Brain
The Greater Good Science Centre has published several articles on how curiosity can lead to a happier life. Some of the benefits of curiosity include:
- Enhancing positive emotions leading to greater psychological wellbeing
- Increasing enjoyment and participation at work and in school
- Emphasising our empathy when we are curious about others
- Strengthening our relationships when we engage in curious discourse
- Shaping our perspectives toward value-driven actions
Knowing that curiosity positively impacts wellbeing, the question becomes, how does curiosity work in the brain? And can we harness this knowledge to enhance our curiosity in life to foster greater wellbeing? I believe the answer is Yes.
In a new research paper entitled “Brain Mechanism of Curiosity Unraveled”, researchers have found curiosity’s own path in the brain, giving us unique insight into how curiosity converts into action.
I had to see how this works and, more importantly, how it may impact wellbeing.
When we look up the word curiosity in the dictionary, the definition uses words such as desire, interest or eagerness. These definitions outline qualities relating to learning, inquisitive thinking, exploration, and investigation.
What we’re really defining here is our innate motivational drive underlying our novelty-seeking behaviours. We use our curiosity to motivate us to answer questions, find solutions, learn, and investigate for understanding.
Curiosity is the word we use when we engage in novelty-seeking behaviour driven by attention and motivation.
The science around novelty-seeking behaviours has been difficult for scientists to parse out from other goal-directed animalistic behaviours such as hunger and appetitive aggression. But a new…