Curiosity and the human brain

I’ve always considered curiosity as a trait that pushes my constant learning forward – and keeps me awake at night. It’s something I struggle to contain, as I often feel like a sponge that’s sopping up information and stimuli around me. When I was younger, I had to learn to establish appropriate boundaries so that I didn’t get overwhelmed by the noise surrounding the real signal.

Today I came across this article that explores some of my hunger for information – worth a read:

What Curiosity Looks Like in the Brain

Quotes I like:

Humans are deeply curious beings. Our lives, economy, and society are shaped so strongly by a drive to obtain information that we are sometimes called informavores: creatures that search for and digest information, just like carnivores hunt and eat meat. What is it that drives our hunger for information?

If learning is intrinsically rewarding, the brain should respond to new information in a way similar to how it responds to primary rewards like food and sex. Indeed, neuroimagingstudies show that when people are curious about the answers to trivia questions or watch a blurry picture become clear, reward-related structures in their brains are activated.