Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Motivation, Love, and Education

Some interesting articles about motivation and love (below) got us thinking about implications for education. In a paper released this week, researchers found that brain areas associated with feelings of romantic love were located in subcortical reward centers like those indicated below in red arrows. At right an fMRI picture of children and adolescents'subcortical reward centers activated by the possibility of a monetary reward. Look at the similar locations.

The areas are not exactly the same, but they are similar, and in fact if you look at the "Love" study in more detail, there were different areas of these reward regions activated when different traits of the "beloved" were considered.

We probably don't think enough about what children love when it comes to educational planning, and yet reward has powerful activating influences on the brain...even opening up new areas of memory (here).

The mathematician Poincare has written:"The scientist does not study nature because it is useful to do so. He studies it because he takes pleasure in it, and he takes pleasure in it because it is beautiful." Interestingly, beauty also activates these subcortical reward centers (here).

fMRI and Love
Children More Strongly Activated with Rewards

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