07 March 2013

The ahhh factor! How being cute influences our behaviour

Cuteness plays an enormous role in popular culture from animation companies such as Disney featuring humans and animals with exaggerated infantile features through to marketing campaigns putting images of cute babies at the heart of their commercials.

But how does cuteness influence our behaviour? And why?

At the latest free Café Scientifique talk on Wednesday 13 March, Jen Lewis from the University of Essex’s Department of Psychology will discuss the science behind the ‘infant facial configuration’ known as the baby schema.

Jen is completing a PhD using eye-tracking techniques to investigate the phenomena of ‘cuteness’ in infant faces. She will discuss how the baby schema has been found to activate reward circuitry in the brain to influence our judgements about infants, and ultimately, to elicit caretaking behaviours from adults.

The free talk, titled The ahhh factor! How and why the Infant Facial Configuration influences our behaviour, will be hosted by The Minories, 74 High Street, Colchester, with doors opening at 6.30pm and the talk starting at 7pm.

Café Scientifique, which started in Leeds in 1998, is a forum aimed at bringing the public and scientists together to learn about and discuss current scientific issues. The Colchester Café Scientifique is sponsored by the University of Essex. The speakers give their time free of charge.

For further information contact Ray White on 01621 891598 or go to: http://bit.ly/jen_lewis.

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