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What makes us curious? The role of metacognition.

What makes us curious? The role of metacognition.

Objective

Curiosity is a basic biological drive that has a profound influence on our behaviour, choices and learning. Despite the vital role it plays in our daily lives, its functions, mechanisms and neural basis remain poorly understood. It has been proposed that the intensity of curiosity for certain information is tightly linked to the ability of that information to reduce uncertainty, thereby closing the gap between what is currently known and what is yet to be discovered. This project proposes that the ability to monitor one’s levels of knowledge and uncertainty (metacognition), is critical to the effective deployment of curiosity. The goal of this project is to unravel how metacognitive processing modulates curiosity. The relationship between metacognition and curiosity will first be systematically probed in a behavioural experiment that will investigate this relationship in both a learning and decision-making context. Computational modelling will further elucidate these relationships, and help to inform a theoretical model of curiosity as a metacognitive process. The cutting-edge decoded neurofeedback approach will then be used to selectively disrupt metacognition and curiosity in order to establish a causal relationship and determine the directionality of the effects. This project will be the first to combine experimental, neural and computational approaches to unravel the dynamics of the relationship between metacognition and curiosity. This integrative approach will result in a unified theoretical and mechanistic account of curiosity, which will provide a strong foundation for future research in this field. The findings will have far-reaching implications for diverse fields such as learning, decision-making, and robotics. A better understanding of curiosity and metacognition will also have important implications for the education sector, as both of these mechanisms have been implicated as important predictors of academic success.
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Coordinator

STICHTING KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT

Address

Geert Grooteplein Noord 9
6525 Ez Nijmegen

Netherlands

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 175 572,48

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 846702

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 September 2019

  • End date

    31 August 2021

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.3.2.

  • Overall budget:

    € 175 572,48

  • EU contribution

    € 175 572,48

Coordinated by:

STICHTING KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT

Netherlands