Curiosity is a virtue that is central to society and to the human condition. Yet, remarkably little is known about how curiosity works and how it can be enhanced to promote learning, conscious experiences, intellectual development, and creativity. The importance of curiosity has been noted by philosophers going as far back as Cicero, who referred to it as an “innate love of learning”, an idea echoed by Kant in the 1800’s and elaborated on by Sir John Templeton, who noted the importance of curiosity for a thriving society. Our project brings psychology and neuroscience to bear on this central question. Our interdisciplinary project investigates how curiosity promotes learning, affects decisions, stimulates creativity, and shapes our conscious experience of the world. We will combine brain imaging with experimental tests of behavior, thereby identifying the foundational processes by which curiosity shapes our behavior, our memories, and our consciousness. By discovering these foundational mechanisms, we will generate new insight into how to promote the central virtue of curiosity to enhance learning, exploration and creativity. Our overarching goal is to establish a new scientific understanding of the virtue of curiosity and its pervasive positive impact on our mental lives.