Sometimes merely acknowledging the cuteness of a duckling, a cub, or even a human child isn’t good enough. Sometimes cuteness is so arresting that the only logical reaction is an intense urge to squeeze a little dear to smithereens. In a study published Wednesday in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience scientists announced that this desire isn’t just a playful wish — it’s actually an appetite that can be traced within the brain.
While researchers have previously studied the “cute aggression” phenomenon, this paper is the first to confirm a neural basis for it. A team from the University of California, Riverside discovered that there is detectable activity in the neural reward system in the brains of people who readily admit they feel overwhelmed by seeing a cute animal or baby. Cuteness also triggers these people into feeling an immense desire to take care of the cutie — and to think about taking a playful bite out of it.Read More... The Desire to Crush Cute Things Is Natural — and May Even Be Useful