If you've ever looked at a baby and want to pinch his cheeks, or felt the overwhelming urge to squeeze a puppy, you may be suffering from "cute aggression."
The researchers are stunned by the phenomenon. but say it could just be our brain to calm us down.
They say some people are so badly hit by the sight of a cute animal that they just can not, because their brains are almost overburdened.
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The California researchers say that some people are so badly hit by the sight of a cute animal that they just can not, because their brains are almost overburdened. Pictured, a six-week-old Liver Flatcoated Retriever puppy
WHAT IS CUTE AGGRESSION?
The term "cute aggression" emerged when a team of Yale University psychologists published research findings related to the phenomenon in 2015.
The researchers at Yale initially found that respondents said they were more likely to respond to baby animals than adult animals.
However, it has also been reported that people felt more in response to the image of human babies, which had been digitally enhanced to be more infantile, and therefore "sweeter" by augmenting features such as eyes, cheeks, and foreheads , "
To try to work, the brain triggers an aggressive urge.
" Basically for people who tend to experience the feeling, "not Taking on how sweet something is "," cute aggression happens, "said Katherine Stavropoulos, assistant professor of special education at the University of California, Riverside.
"Our study seems to emphasize the idea that cute aggression is the way of the brain to" push back "us by communicating our sense of overwork."
Stavropoulos believes that the phenomenon has evolved as a means of securing human beings, and they are able to continue to care for creatures they consider particularly cute.
"For example, if you feel incapable of how cute a baby is-so much so that you just can not take care of it-then the baby will starve to death, Stavropoulos said.
"Sweet aggression can serve as a tempering mechanism that enables us to do something and actually do something that we might initially think of as overwhelmingly sweet."
In the future, Stavropoulos hopes to use electrophysiology to study the neuronal foundations of cute aggression in various populations and groups, such as postpartum mothers, individuals with autism spectrum disorder, and participants with and without babies or pets.
If you have a child and are looking at pictures of cute babies, you may be showing more aggression and stronger neuronal responses, "she said.
"The same could apply to people who have pets and see pictures of cute puppies or other small animals."
Following an analysis of Yale research that first examined the phenomenon, Stavropoulos wondered if a sweet aggression had a neural component.
If people reported that they felt they needed to squeeze, crush, or even bite creatures they found cute, would their brains reflect patterns of activity that might be associated with those drives?
Stavropoulos suggested that the brains of people who claim to have cute aggression would actually demonstrate demonstrable activity.
She says the activity may refer to the reward system of the brain that deals with motivation, the feeling of "desire" and pleasure, or with its emotion system that handles the emotional processing – or rather both.
HOW THE STUDY HAS BEEN COMPLETED
Stavropoulos and the PhD student Laura Alba of the UCR recruited 54 study participants aged 18 to 40 years, all of whom agreed to wear caps equipped with electrodes.
While wearing the caps, attendees looked at four blocks of 32 photographs divided into categories: sweet (improved) babies, less sweet (not improved) babies, cute (baby) animals, and less cute (adult) animals ,
Participants rated how overwhelmed they felt after looking at the photos ("I can not handle it!" And "I do not like it!") And whether they felt obliged to take care of what they had just been watching (& # 39; I want to hold it! & # 39; and & # 39; I want to protect it! & # 39;).
Overall, participants reported that they had more significant feelings of cute aggression, overwhelming judgment, and how to deal with cute (baby) animals versus less cute (adult) animals.
Among the two categories of babies – sweet (improved) and less sweet (not improved) – the researchers did not observe the same pattern.
The results of Stavropoulos provide direct evidence that both the reward system of the brain and the emotion system into the brain are due to the neuronal activity that she observed with aggression Phenomena involved are between estimates of cute aggression against cute animals and the reward response in the brain to cute animals, "Stavropoulos said.
"This is an exciting statement as it confirms our original hypothesis that the reward system is involved in the experiences of people with cute aggression."