Motivational control


A fundamental cognitive motivation is the drive to seek information: curiosity. What makes us curious? To what degree is information seeking behavior independent from our basic drive to maximize reward and minimize punishment? Together with Floris de Lange, we study non-instrumental curiosity, a form of curiosity that, when relieved, is not associated with primary reward. We use both self-report and willingness-to-wait measures to assess participants’ curiosity. So far we have shown that curiosity is a function of both the uncertainty and the expected value of an outcome.

Relevant publications

Van Lieshout L, de Lange F, Cools R (in press). Motives underlying human curiosity. Nature Hum Behav

van Lieshout LLF, Vandenbroucke ARE, Müller NCJ, Cools R, de Lange FP (2018). Induction and relief of curiosity elicit parietal and frontal activity. J Neurosci: 38(10) 2579-2588

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