Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Neurobiology and Motivating Power of Beauty

"The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful." - Henri Poincare

Beauty is a powerful motivating and organizing factor for many creators and innovators, and when we look to see what is distinctive about the brain's experience of beautiful things, we see that beauty activates a part of the brain associated with reward.

So if we are parents or teachers or curriculum designers trying to help young people really find or develop their talents or prepare themselves for their future life's work, we we really should be doing is help them find things that they find beautiful. And when they find it, we can help by giving them space and time and help (if necessary) to think and study more deeply.

Beauty is Its Own Reward pdf>

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