Curiosity is our natural desire to learn about new things and how they function. The reason why humanity has evolved in such a manner is that our curious minds have led us to learn about the phenomenons of nature and to uncover their hidden secrets, if it wasn’t for this very desire we wouldn’t have been able to create such monuments, go to space or really anything significant. Today, we are at this stage that we are even curious about curiosity itself, what a paradox.
Curiosity is addictive
The thing about curiosity is that when we are learning about something we are curious about, our brain releases dopamine. Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter that’s released when we feel pleasure. This is quite astonishing, as we usually relate pleasure with physical activities such as eating candy or listening to our favorite music but when we are curiously learning about something our brain in a way tells us “it’s exactly what you should be doing, here have a dopamine hit”. No wonder we are curious all the time.
Curiosity changing our Brains
Since we get pleasure from satiating our curiosity, we desire it more. Not only that, research conducted in 2014 found that desire to learn more alters our brain and its functions to some extent. Here are the key findings.
- Memory Boost: Curiosity enhances our brain’s ability to store information and also its recollection. Even if a person who always had trouble in remembering and learning new information, once curious about a topic can easily grasp it and even recall all of it thoroughly. Researchers believe that this is due to the interest in a topic and its relevance to the learner.
- Emotional Positivity: Another finding was that if a person is presented with a topic they are genuinely curious about, it can even alter their emotions into being more playful and positive regardless of their prior emotional state.
- Motivation Reduction: When it comes to studying or learning some people are just not motivated whatsoever. However, it was observed that once a less curious person receives some motivation whether it be extrinsic or intrinsic, the said person actually engaged in the topic and remembered every detail of the topic. It is due to the first-mentioned point, as soon as a person engages in the learning activities they are rewarded by their brain to keep them going.
Another important fact is that stimulating curiosity is very important no matter the age. As when a person is curious, memory is boosted, and once curiosity fades that memory can start to deteriorate. That’s the reason why the least curious people tend to develop dementia and Alzheimers’ disease.
It is safe to say that, curiosity is one of the driving forces when it comes to learning and remembering. A person should always remain curious whether it be small or big on any topic they desire. Continuing the stimulate our curiosity keeps our brain intact and even helps it get in a better state.