One benefit of experiments like the one above is to help understand the brain better. In another study, researchers are also learning about the brain and it’s reaction to novelty thanks to fMRI scanning. What did they find? The brain’s dopamine pathways lit up:
“You’ve probably heard about dopamine before, and its effects on the brain. It’s often touted as a ‘reward chemical’ or part of the brain’s ‘reward center,’ but more recent research has shown that, like novelty, it’s actually more closely related to our motivation to seek rewards rather than being a reward itself.”
In other words, new things give you a rush of motivation to seek and explore because you are anticipating a reward. Think back to the last time you traveled and visited a new city. It’s newness was exciting and you couldn’t wait to explore it because you wanted to see landmarks, meet local people, and have one-of-a-kind experiences.