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Understanding Motivation: Building the Brain Architecture That Supports Learning, Health, and Community Participation

A healthy, engaged community depends on people achieving to the best of their potential, contributing actively to the economy and public well-being, and helping the next generation to thrive. A complex set of intertwined social and biological factors influences people’s motivation to participate actively and productively in schools, jobs, and communities–and to persevere in the […]

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Motivation Brain

The Brain Circuits Underlying Motivation: An Interactive Graphic

The brain circuits underlying motivation are critical for attention, learning, and decision-making. In this interactive graphic, learn about the different parts of the brain that affect motivation and how they interact.

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5 facts about motivation: fact 1

5 Facts About Motivation That Are Often Misunderstood

What is motivation, and how does it work? Learn five quick facts about motivation that are frequently misconstrued or misunderstood.

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Toddlers watching a teacher

How to Motivate Children: Science-Based Approaches for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers

The intrinsic motivation to learn about the world around us begins in infancy. This type of motivation can either be encouraged or suppressed by the experiences adults provide for children. Psychological research points to a set of promising approaches that parents and practitioners can use to promote positive motivation and learning during development.

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Legislative building

Motivation and Early Childhood Policy: Science-Based Approaches for Policymakers and Public Systems

The brain circuits underlying motivation are critical for attention, learning, and decision-making. When these circuits have either not developed in a balanced and healthy way or have been chemically hijacked by addictions, challenging life circumstances can overpower the best of intentions. Programs intended to support parents and children facing adversity often find that participation is […]

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InBrief: Understanding the Science of Motivation

Why are some people motivated to participate productively in their community and more likely to persevere in the face of setbacks? To unlock this puzzle, it is helpful to understand the underlying mechanisms in the brain that develop in childhood and build the foundation for later complex behavior.

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