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Poster C41

Using naturalistic celebrity stimuli to probe links between memory, interest and curiosity

Poster Session C - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 5:00 – 7:00 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Gregory Brooks1,2 (, Aditya Thakur2,3, Rachel Sargeson1,2, Stefan Kohler2,3; 1Graduate Program in Neuroscience, 2Western University, 3Department of Psychology

Curiosity is an intrinsic motivational state that shapes information-seeking behaviour. Past work has provided evidence that metacognitive retrieval experiences during unsuccessful memory recall act as a source of state curiosity for the information that could not be recalled. Whether unsuccessful recall is associated with the induction of curiosity for naturalistic stimuli in the domain of knowledge about famous people remains currently unknown. The way in which interindividual differences in interest may influence curiosity for such naturalistic stimuli is an open question as well. We addressed these questions through an experiment that employed Feeling-of-Knowing (FOK) judgements (as a metacognitive marker of experienced closeness to successful recall) for the names of visually presented celebrity faces from different categories of fame, and probed subsequent curiosity through subjective ratings. We show that FOK experiences during unsuccessful recall are positively correlated with subsequently reported curiosity. Moreover, we demonstrate that interindividual differences in interest for the domain in which a celebrity is famous also relates to curiosity. A mixed-effects modelling analysis revealed that FOK experiences during unsuccessful recall and interest are independently associated with the reported curiosity. These results are in line with the notion that curiosity depends on both the identification, and the desire to resolve a salient gap in knowledge. Future work is needed to examine whether the demonstrated links also directly influence the information-seeking behaviour that is characteristic of curiosity in naturalistic settings.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Semantic


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April 13–16  |  2024