What ‘drives’ curiosity research?

November 5, 2015

Crouching Child

Scientists have been studying curiosity since the 19th century, but combining techniques from several fields now makes it possible for the first time to study it with full scientific rigor, according to the authors of a new paper.

Benjamin Hayden and Celeste Kidd, researchers in brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, are proposing that scientists utilize these techniques to focus on curiosity’s function, evolution, mechanism, and development, rather than on what it is and what it isn’t.

“Curiosity is a long-standing problem that is fascinating, but has been difficult to approach scientifically,” said Hayden, an assistant professor and co-author of a “Perspective” article published today in Neuron.