Curious children remember better in the long run
Curiosity plays an important role in the process of remembering information and assimilating it in the long run through the motivation it evokes in us at the absorption stage. Because our memory stores information selectively, curiosity can help us direct our attentional resources to a particular piece of information and focus on it, which will affect our ability to remember it better. In addition, if after receiving the intriguing information, it is found that it is also interesting, the level of interest and accordingly the emotion it will evoke in us, may also affect the ability to remember the information in the long run.Recent research has examined a number of interesting questions: first, what cognitive abilities in childhood allow curiosity to develop, and at what age curiosity develops in its most complex version, and second, how much curiosity affects the memory of long-term information and how it can be stimulated and developed.

At what age does curiosity develop?

Curiosity seems to be born with humans and is there from day one, as newborn babies also show curiosity – visual preferences for new objects, colors and lights, and at later stages tend to explore objects as they begin to understand their meaning. At the same time, the structure in the human brain responsible for creating new memories and also involved in the development of curiosity – the hippocampus, continues to develop throughout childhood while functional connections between the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) also continue to develop throughout childhood and adolescence.

Recent studies show that children between the ages of 8 and 12 activate the limbic cortex and anterior insula during inaccurate memory responses and uncertainties, and that at the age of 10-12 children mobilize the prefrontal cortex (PFC) more strongly, enabling decision-making. More complex analysis of states of uncertainty or cognitive conflict management. It can be concluded that alongside the development of areas in the brain in the maturation process involved in creating curiosity and the connectivity between them, curiosity as a motivator for learning and remembering processes, develops over the years.

To what extent does curiosity affect long-term memory?

Curiosity defined as a desire to acquire new information is known to improve learning, but so far it has not been clear whether and to what extent states of pre-information curiosity and post-information interest improve memory in childhood and even adolescence.

A new study published in the journal Developmental Science used a trivia paradigm whereby children and teens ages 10-14 were asked trivia questions, along with examining the level of interest the question aroused in them – and their degree of desire to know the answer to it before they were actually answered.

The study findings suggest that states of high curiosity improved memory function later and contributed to memory recall of trivia responses over time. Situations of high curiosity before answering improved later memory of trivia answers among children and adolescents alike.

The study also found that adolescents, compared to children, showed an even greater improvement in memory abilities if they found the answer interesting. The results of the study indicate that curiosity and interest have a significant positive effect on learning and memory in childhood and even a stronger effect in adolescence. Research data suggest that curiosity can be harnessed as a significant engine not only for improving learning abilities but also for improving long-term memory abilities.

If in the past it was thought that learning by memorization is the right way to remember information over time, today new learning perceptions are emerging that better affect the long-term memory of pupils and students. For example, emphasizing deepening understanding of the material being taught, finding connection and developing associative connections to students’ areas of life, experiential learning in a way that evokes emotion and motivation, interactive learning that combines multiple senses simultaneously, performing interesting sessions related to the material being studied, etc. These learning perceptions influence the development and creation of curiosity among learners and improve the activation of the attention and limbic system in the brain, which are responsible for the absorption, processing and encoding of new information in memory, thereby improving both the learning experience and the ability to assimilate and remember long-term information.

By Editor

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