The Washington Post:
Big eyes, bigger heads and squishy little noses. The physical characteristics that make babies so squeezable are called the Kindchenschema, and they keep parents all over the animal kingdom from leaving stinky infants to their own devices. But research suggests that this cuteness does more than just tell your lizard brain that the squirming screamer in your arms is important. “Cute” could actually be a complex, multi-sensory attack that babies have evolved to hijack your brain.
Cute is a long-standing interest of Morten Kringelbach of Oxford University. Several years ago, he found that folks presented with images of babies had activity spikes in regions of the brain associated with emotion and pleasure within just a few milliseconds – right around the time the information reached visual centers.
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