From next year, the German Research Foundation (DFG) will be funding a new Research Training Group (RTG) at the University of Göttingen, in which PhD candidates at the DPZ will also be incorporated. Funding for the RTG "Curiosity" is expected to amount to around 7.8 million euros over the next five years.
Curiosity is defined as the urge to obtain more information about certain aspects of our environment. We live in a world where we have access to a previously unimaginable variety and amount of information. It is essential to understand how we as individuals decide which aspects of our environment are worthy of obtaining more information about. The new RTG "Curiosity" aims to contribute to this understanding by supporting thirteen doctoral theses. To add to our understanding of curiosity, researchers are investigating when, why and how we select from a variety of information sources the one that we pay particular attention to and from which we learn particularly well.
"Our goal is to bring together PhD candidates from different disciplines and support them in working towards a common theoretical language of curiosity and an integrative, interdisciplinary framework for this key component of our behavior," explains RTG spokesperson Prof. Dr. Nivedita Mani from the Georg Elias Müller Institute of Psychology. The RTG pursues an interdisciplinary approach in which doctoral students from various fields such as psychology and behavioral biology as well as systems and theoretical neuroscience work together to better understand the biological, neuropsychological and computational foundations of curiosity.