BEACON Seminar: The biology of novelty seeking and uncertainty reduction
Seminars this term will be held remotely on Zoom. Links for joining will be sent out before each seminar. Please contact the host if you would like to set up a remote meeting with a speaker. If you have suggestions for future speakers, please contact Lauren (, or Nima (
Biological and artificial agents are motivated to seek reward. However, biological agents in particular display intrinsic motivation to explore, even when their curiosity does not result in reward. For example, humans and monkeys explore novel objects regardless of their task relevance, and they are often motivated to gain advance information about the future, even in situations in which this information cannot be used for the task at hand. I will discuss the biological mechanisms of these intrinsic drives and outline the circuit mechanisms through which curiosity can impact value-based economic decision making in primates and humans.
Date: 14 December 2021, 15:00 (Tuesday, 10th week, Michaelmas 2021)
Venue: Venue to be announced
Speaker: Ilya Monosov (Washington University)
Organising department: Department of Experimental Psychology
Organiser: Nima Khalighinejad (University of Oxford)
Organiser contact email address:
Host: Nima Khalighinejad (University of Oxford)
Part of: Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience (BEACON)
Booking required?: Not required
Booking email:
Audience: Members of the University only
Editor: Halley Cohen