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Shared striatal activity in decisions to satisfy curiosity and hunger at the risk of electric shocks

Lau, J. K. L., Ozono, H., Kuratomi, K., Komiya, A. and Murayama, K. (2020) Shared striatal activity in decisions to satisfy curiosity and hunger at the risk of electric shocks. Nature Human Behaviour, 4 (5). pp. 531-543. ISSN 2397-3374

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/s41562-020-0848-3

Abstract/Summary

Curiosity is often portrayed as a desirable feature of human faculty. However, curiosity may come at a cost that sometimes puts people in a harmful situation. Here, with a set of behavioural and neuroimaging experiments using stimuli that strongly trigger curiosity (e.g., magic tricks), we examined the psychological and neural mechanisms underlying the motivational effect of curiosity. We consistently demonstrated that across different samples, people were indeed willing to gamble, subjecting themselves to physical risks (i.e. electric shocks) in order to satisfy their curiosity for trivial knowledge that carries no apparent instrumental value. Also, this influence of curiosity shares common neural mechanisms with that of extrinsic incentives (i.e. hunger for food). In particular, we showed that acceptance (compared to rejection) of curiosity/incentive-driven gambles was accompanied by enhanced activity in the ventral striatum (when curiosity was elicited), which extended into the dorsal striatum (when participants made a decision).

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Neuroscience
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
ID Code:89356
Uncontrolled Keywords:neuroimaging, cognitive, neuroscience, motivation, decision-making, fMRI, risk-take
Publisher:Nature

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