Novelty has an amazing effect on people. It is a powerful signal to our brain. It activates our dopamine system, an energizing neurotransmitter which signals us to pay close attention — it’s time to learn!

When children are young, everything is new and exciting. Babies and toddlers are very curious and attend intently to their environment: picking up a cheerio, watching a bug on the sidewalk, pulling up to stand next to a chair, building a tower of blocks. Studying a piece of lint on the floor can fully engage a young child’s attention for anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes, and then the novelty of something new becomes attractive. For that period of time, however, the young child’s brain is fully engaged in learning.

Over time, our brain begins to notice patterns. What was once fresh and novel becomes familiar and routine. What can you do today to intentionally invite (bring) novelty into your day?

Learn more about how novelty motivates us and what that means for learning, by reading Novelty and the Brain: Why new things make us feel so good

All of us at SelfDesign hope you have a great day!