WTF Fun Fact 13201 – The Power of Looking at Cute Animals

Have you ever fallen down the rabbit hole (no pun intended) of looking at cute animals on the internet or social media? It’s hard to look away!

Well, it turns out, looking at them could be good for you.

There is evidence to suggest that your cute cat meme fixation can boost both focus and concentration. Studies have also found that looking at pictures of baby animals can improve attention and task performance.

The benefits of looking at cute animals

There is some evidence to suggest that looking at cute animals can boost both focus and concentration.

Researchers published a study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. It found that looking at pictures of baby animals can improve attention and task performance. In fact, participants who viewed images of cute animals performed better on tasks requiring attention and fine motor skills. At least compared to those who viewed images of adult animals or inanimate objects.

Another study conducted by researchers at Hiroshima University in Japan found that looking at pictures of cute animals can increase activity in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for attention, problem-solving, and decision-making.

According to the Association for Psychological Science (cited below), “Led by researcher Hiroshi Nittono, the team conducted three experiments with 132 university students and concluded that cute images may facilitate improved performance on detail-oriented tasks that require concentration.”

We’ve long known that humans are attracted to looking at things that look juvenile. “Baby schema” includes things like a large head and protruding, large eyes – and they just seem “cuter” to us. Baby humans and baby animals often have these characteristics.

But now there’s proof that cute things might make our brains operate a bit better. Nittono and colleagues wrote in their paper:

“This study shows that viewing cute things improves subsequent performance in tasks that require behavioral carefulness, possibly by narrowing the breadth of attentional focus.”

Puppy power

Additionally, looking at cute animals can also release oxytocin, a hormone that is associated with feelings of love and bonding, which can lead to increased feelings of positive emotion and well-being.

It’s worth noting that these studies are still in the early stages, and more research is needed to understand the full extent of the effects of looking at cute animals on focus and concentration.

Of course, looking at cute animals is great and all, but is not a replacement for getting professional help if you have serious attention and focus issues.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “The Power of Puppies: Looking at Cute Images Can Improve Focus” — Association for Psychological Science

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