Cute Aggression Is Triggered by Baby Animals Researchers Say

first_img Watch: Dolphin Leaps Feet Away From Unsuspecting SurferNASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This Weekend Stay on target Have you ever wanted to “squeeze” or “squish” a baby animal? According to researchers, cute aggression thoughts can be triggered by these adorable creatures.Katherine Stavropoulos, a licensed clinical psychologist, and Laura Alba, a UC Riverside doctoral student, explored why people experience cute aggression urges and how they impact different parts of the brain. The UC Riverside team published their findings in the Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience journal on Dec. 4.Stavropoulos first heard the term “cute aggression” after Yale University psychologists shared research related to the psychological condition in 2015, said a UC Riverside press release.“The Yale researchers initially found that people reported feeling cute aggression more in response to baby animals versus adult animals, Stavropoulos said in the press release. “But, even beyond that, people reported feeling cute aggression more in response to picture of human babies that had been digitally enhanced to appear more infantile, and therefore ‘more cute,’ by enlarging features like their eyes, cheeks, and foreheads.”To study cute aggression, Stavropoulos uses electrophysiology to measure surface-level electrical activity that stems from neurons in people’s brains. Stavropoulos then analyzed how external stimuli impacted neural responses. She hypothesized that cute aggression might correlate with the brain’s reward system, which deals with feelings of motivation, wanting, and emotional processing.Stavropoulos and Alba studied 54 participants who all agreed to wear caps with electrodes. Participants were asked to view 32 photographs organized into four categories: cute (enhanced) babies, less cute (non-enhanced) babies, cute (baby) animals, and less cute (adult) animals.The study’s results showed that participants reported more feelings of cute aggression (appraisal, overwhelmed, and caretaking) with baby animals. After observing the neural activity of participants, Stavropoulos found that the brain’s reward system and emotion system are involved when people experience cute aggression feelings.“There was an especially strong correlation between ratings of cute aggression experienced toward cute animals and the reward response in the brain toward cute animals,” Stavropoulos said in the press release. “This is an exciting finding, as it confirms our original hypothesis that the reward system is involved in people’s experiences of cute aggression.”More on Geek.com:NASA’s New Horizons Begins Countdown to Ultima ThuleMeet the People Who Plan to Colonize Mars in 2032Texas Coast Has More Ocean Trash Than Any Other Gulf State, Study Sayslast_img

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