The psychology and neuroscience of curiosity

Neuron. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2016 Nov 4. Published in final edited form as: PMCID: PMC4635443 NIHMSID: NIHMS722442 The publisher’s final edited version of this article is available at Neuron See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. SUMMARY Curiosity is a basic element of our cognition, yet its biological function, mechanisms, and neural underpinning remain poorly understood. It is nonetheless a motivator for learning, influential in decision-making, and crucial for healthy development. One factor limiting our understanding of it is the lack of a widely agreed upon delineation of what is and is not curiosity; another factor is the dearth of standardized laboratory tasks that manipulate curiosity in the lab. Despite these barriers, recent years have seen a major growth of interest in both the neuroscience…

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