Why are humans so curious? © Getty Images

Why are humans so curious?

Although it’s cats who are supposedly curious, humans are hardwired to be inquisitive and have a thirst for new information which links back to survival for our ancestors.

Asked by: Jacob Pinnock


To the human brain, new information is like delicious food. A recent study at the University of Reading found that participants’ curiosity to find out how a magic trick worked triggered activity in the same area of their brains as a hunger for food. Those who were most curious were even prepared to risk a (mild) electric shock for the chance to have the magic explained.

Humans, it seems, are hardwired to be curious, and this instinct would have been a potential lifesaver for our ancestors – the person who dared to poke their head around the corner may have found new food or water, or spotted a predator approaching.

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