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Morten Kringelbach


I have always been interested in what brings us joy. What is it about the sight of an infant that makes almost everyone crack a smile? Big eyes, chubby cheeks, and a button nose? An infectious laugh, soft skin, and a captivating smell? These characteristics contribute to ‘cuteness’ and propel our caregiving behaviours, which is vital because infants need our constant attention to survive and thrive. Infants attract us through all our senses, which helps make cuteness one of the most basic and powerful forces shaping our behaviour.

In my Centre for Eudaimonia and Human Flourishing based at Linacre College and the Department of Psychiatry, in addition to social pleasures such as cuteness, we also investigate how food, music, psychedelics and meditation can balance our brain to allow us to live well, flourish, and to ultimately have a good life.

For more about the power of cuteness, read our review: