Stanford Psychology Podcast
Stanford Psychology Podcast
123 - Jacqueline Gottlieb: Are You Curious About Curiosity?

123 - Jacqueline Gottlieb: Are You Curious About Curiosity?

This week, Julia chats with Jacqueline Gottlieb, Professor of Neuroscience in the Kavli Institute for Brain Science and the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Institute for Mind, Brain, and Behavior at Columbia University in New York. Since joining the Columbia Faculty in 2001, she has spearheaded pioneering research on the neural mechanisms of attention and curiosity, using computational modeling combined with behavioral and neurophysiological studies in humans and non-human primates. 

In this episode, Professor Gottlieb unlocks the fundamental forces governing curiosity. She begins by explaining the ambiguity inherent in uncertainty and the balance between potential risks and rewards. Then, she reviews a recent study that suggests that we don’t always reason optimally about uncertainty. After discussing potential reasons why we might struggle with decision making surrounding uncertainty, she highlights key personality factors from the study that were associated with more successful decision making. Finally, she closes by sharing her hopes for the future of the field.

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Link to the paper we discussed

Check out more of Professor Gottlieb’s work at her lab website

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