"I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life." (Eleanor Roosevelt)
Dr. Matthew Gruber conducted a University of California in which he posed a series of trivia questions to his test cases. Each question was followed by a 14 second delay and then he showed the test cases a neutral, unrelated picture of a face. Later he gave each test case a recognition test of the trivia as well as the faces. During the study, the test cases' brains were scanned. The results revealed that:
1. For those test cases who were highly curious, they retained more trivia and showed more face recognition.
2. When their curiosity was stimulated, their brain circuits showed increased activity related to the reward area of the brain. The study showed that intrinsic motivation recruits the same areas of the brain as extrinsic motivation.
3. Curiosity motivated learning increased activity in the hippocampus, the small part of the brain that looks like a seahorse (the French word is "hippocampe"). The interaction between the brain's rewards system and the hippocampus puts the brain in an alert state.
Dr. Gruber concluded: "Curiosity may put the brain in a state that allows it to learn and retain any kind of information like a vortex that sucks in what you are motivated to learn and also everything around it." (http://theantimedia.org/curiosity-fix-enhancing-memory-intellect/)
A healthy curiosity sets the stage for lifelong learning and learning can bring us closer to our goals. Eleanor Roosevelt was a champion of learning. While many First Ladies were content to sit back and let their husbands take centre stage, Eleanor Roosevelt was heavily involved in political life. She held her own press conferences. A champion of literacy, for almost three decades she contributed to a daily (except Sundays) newspaper column called "My Day" on weighty issues like Prohibition, World War II and race relations. She worked tirelessly for various charities. Eleanor explained:
"I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life." (http://www.ineedmotivation.com/blog/2008/04/22-great-quotes-on-curiosity/)
One of Eleanor Roosevelt's goals was to draft a Charter on Human Rights, a goal which she met in 1948 when she served as the United States Delegate to the United Nations.
Note: Read "Ten Ways to Foster A Culture of Creativity in Your Learning Organization" at http://etale.org/main/2015/06/22/10-ways-to-foster-a-culture-of-curiosity-in-your-learning-organization/.