Here’s why curiosity is crucial for learning

A recent study by the University of California found that not only are people better at retaining information they’re curious about, but curiosity also prepares the brain for learning incidental details.

In a nutshell: the researchers gave students 100 trivia questions to answer and asked them to rate their curiosity about each question on a scale. Then, using fMRI scans, they then examined how their brains reacted to each question.

Weeks later, when they asked students to recall answers to each question, they found that they didn’t just remember the answers to questions they were curious about but also the following questions they didn’t show much interest in at all. Basically, curiosity prepares the brain for learning stuff you didn’t even think you were interested in!