Co-sponsored by Penn’s Center for Curiosity and the Department of Bioengineering, “The Network Neuroscience of Curiosity” event will explore the promise of network neuroscience for understanding perhaps the most basic function of the human mind: curiosity. Drawing on expertise in neuroscience, complex systems, psychology, and philosophy, speakers will investigate the cognitive architecture of curiosity by mobilizing theoretical, behavioral, biological, and computational models.
Speakers will include Dr. Danielle Bassett, Eduardo D. Glandt Faculty Fellow and Associate Professor of Bioengineering and Electrical and Systems Engineering (University of Pennsylvania), Dr. David Danks, L. L. Thurstone Professor of Philosophy and Psychology (Carnegie Mellon University), Dr. Jacqueline Gottlieb, Professor of Neuroscience (Columbia University), and Dr. Celeste Kidd, Assistant Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (University of Rochester).
This symposium is scheduled for November 17th, from 12:30-5:00, in the D26 Caster Building, at the University of Pennsylvania. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Perry Zurn (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Applications are now open for the Reimagine Education-Center for Curiosity Cultivating Curiosity Award 2017. The award will be given at the Reimagine Education Conference in Philadelphia in December 2017 to the most innovative pedagogical approaches to encourage curiosity among learners; research projects on curiosity or tools or apps designed to encourage and/or assess curiosity.
Curiosity is at the heart of learning; it is the impulse by which learners are encouraged to seek out both new questions and new answers. It is the catalyst by which learners acquire and use the soft skills necessary to become thinkers, problem-solvers, and creators. It is the driver for motivation, creativity, tolerance, and resilience.
Projects are invited from educational institutions, individual scholars and practitioners, as well as Ed Tech companies in any area of curiosity, such as:
- Research that advances the basic understanding of curiosity — its genesis, manifestations, measurements and applicability;
- Pedagogical approaches for encouraging or measuring curiosity;
- Innovative methods by which curiosity is harnessed to improve one or more learning outcomes;
- Fostering curiosity in the curriculum or institutional framework;
- Online tools or apps to measure or encourage curiosity.
To apply and for more information:
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a form of artificial curiosity which can learn to complete complex tasks even when it isn’t immediately clear what actions might help it meet its objectives.
University of Southern California neuroscientist Irving Biederman has described humans as, “designed to be ‘nfovores,’ creatures that devour information.” This omnipresent behavior has led researchers from multiple disciplines towards understanding curiosities existence & application. To read more about major research projects that have attempted to elucidate the genesis and benefits of curiosity please find the Natural History link below.
Computer scientists are programming machines to be curious, learning to explore their surroundings and be inquisitive.
George Konidaris, computer scientist at the Intelligent Robot Lab at Brown University told Science: “Developing curiosity is a problem that’s core to intelligence. It’s going to be most useful when you’re not sure what your robot is going to have to do in the future.”
Although 8 in 10 employees say curiosity is an important work trait, just one in five say they are curious, according to an international stugy by Merck. “Innovation and technological progress do not appear out of the blue. They always develop out of a person’s sense of curiosity about something new. Scientific curiosity and the joy of discovery are thus our most important resources when it comes to finding answers to global challenges such as the aging of our society or population growth,” says Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck. “That’s why curiosity should be a key aspect of our everyday work.”
Read the State of Curiosity Report here.
Dr Paul C Holinger writes in Psychology Today that curiosity is at the core of human existence. “The human brain is stimulus-seeking. We want to enhance the interest affect, our curiosity, in order to learn, to discover, to adapt…. The responses of caregivers to infants and children can either enhance interest or constrict it. Similarly, later in life, teachers or bosses can stimulate or restrict interest and curiosity. Creativity and discoveries come from curiosity—that is, interest-excitement. Reactions such as fear, or surprise, or disgust can be shifted to interest, thus enhancing learning.”
Read the complete article in Psychology Today here.
On Saturday 5 November 2016 CERN will host the fourth edition of TEDxCERN under the theme ‘ripples of curiosity.’ Topics include artificial intelligence, DNA editing, biotechnology, global literacy, DIY science, drones, oceanography, as well as dark matter and gravitational waves.
“One of CERN’s missions is to connect with people across the globe to inspire scientific curiosity and understanding,” said Charlotte Warakaulle, CERN’s Director for International Relations. “Behind every breakthrough, there is a brave idea from a curious person. With this year’s TEDx, we celebrate innovators from all fields who inspire us with their stories of how curiosity creates ripples that can change our world.”
For more information, see
A new study in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences traced six factors across three measures of intellectual curiosity (IC). Typical Intellectual Engagement measures all factors except Deprivation. Need for Cognition (18-item) measures Intellectual Avoidance and Problem Solving. Epistemic Curiosity largely measures Deprivation. Schmid–Leiman rotation indicates that Reading may not fit within the IC domain.
The president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science argues for the value of curiosity-driven science pursued without regard for immediate application. Barbara Schaal, dean of the faculty of arts and sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and president of AAAS, called for more effective communication and public engagement by scientists in explaining their work, both to policy-makers and to the general public.
A new study examines curiosity’s role in influencing consumer behavior. Study 1 reveals that mystery appeals create more curiosity than other affective states, and that curiosity predicts purchase motivation via a direct path. Exploring the optimal level of information needed to maximize curiosity, study 1 finds that participants are more curious when given moderate information, over minimal information. Next, study 2 demonstrates that shopping in an actively curious state can impact consumer outcomes via an indirect path that is mediated by consumer evaluation of the mystery appeal. This research is the first to identify curiosity as the affective state that is primarily triggered by mystery appeals, and to explain how curiosity directly and indirectly impacts consumer purchase motivation.
When young children first begin to ask ‘why?’ they embark on a journey with no final destination. The need to make sense of the world as a whole is an ultimate curiosity that lies at the root of all human religions. It has, in many cultures, shaped and motivated a more down to earth scientific interest in the physical world, which could therefore be described as penultimate curiosity. These two manifestations of curiosity have a history of connection that goes back deep into the human past. Tracing that history all the way from cave painting to quantum physics, this book (a collaboration between a painter and a physical scientist that uses illustrations throughout the narrative) sets out to explain the nature of the long entanglement between religion and science: the ultimate and the penultimate curiosity.
The paper reviews recent models of embodied information seeking and curiosity-driven learning and show that these mechanisms have deep implications for development and evolution.
How Evolution May Work Through Curiosity-Driven Developmental Process
The review critically examines the dimensionality, definitions, and measures of curiosity within educational settings, and address the boundaries between curiosity and interest.
Curiosity is as important as intelligence to navigate and succeed in the world, writes Andrew Merle in Observer.
“Curiosity is often a positive thing: it is at the heart of scientific progress, for example. But it also has a negative side,” writes Simon Oxenham in an article in the New Scientist.