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LIBC Colloquium by Matthias J. Gruber

woensdag 16 juni 2021
via Zoom

How curiosity enhances hippocampus-dependent memory

Curiosity the desire to seek new information has been praised as a critical ingredient to optimise learning in daily life. However, only recently an emerging field of curiosity research in psychology and neuroscience has begun to shed more light on how curiosity affects learning and memory. In my talk, I will present evidence from neuroimaging and behavioural studies that show how curiosity affects hippocampus-dependent memory. In particular, I will show evidence of (1) how curiosity affects activity within dopaminergic-hippocampal regions and how these subcortical regions interact with higher-level brain networks such as the default mode network in support of curiosity-enhanced memory, (2) how curiosity affects memory differently in childhood and adolescence, and (3) how states of curiosity affect memory for incidental information that is encountered during curiosity states. I will present evidence from a series of behavioural experiments using epistemic and perceptual curiosity that help to understand the mechanisms and generalisability of curiosity-enhanced memory. Finally, I will discuss how our recently proposed Prediction, Appraisal, Curiosity, and Exploration (PACE) framework, which synthesises current ideas on the mechanisms underlying curiosity, can guide future research in psychology and neuroscience to further elucidate the mechanisms underlying curiosity and curiosity-based memory.

Dr. Matthias Gruber is a Senior Research Fellow (Assistant Professor) and the Group Leader of the Motivation & Memory Lab at the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC), UK. He holds a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from University College London and was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California at Davis, CA. Dr. Gruber’s current research is funded by a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship by Wellcome and the Royal Society.

If you would like to attend this lecture via zoom please register via e-mail to

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