What is it about the sight of a baby that makes even the most cantankerous of individuals crack a smile? And it’s not just human babies, baby animals often draw “awws” from spectators too.

The YouTube channel ASAP Science tackled this question of why baby things might be so adorable, first pointing out that research on monkeys found they don’t seem to show a preference or certain emotional reaction to the faces of baby monkeys.

This, the host said, led researchers to believe the warm and fuzzies at the sight of baby anythings could be just a human trait.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

The short answer as to why, ASAP Science said, is more “cuteness” equals more care and more protection, which is especially important for human babies who are completely dependent upon their caregivers when born.

But what is cute? The technical term is “baby schema,” which is a set of features that make something adorable in the most generally accepted terms. Traits include a rounded head, large eyes, portruding cheeks, a big forehead, round body and soft surfaces.

When these traits are seen or even enhanced, it activates a part of the human brain that gives feelings of anticipation, excitement or the “urge to cuddle or hold an object,” the host said.

Watch ASAP Science’s full video to get the low-down on why babies and some of the baby animals you see around spring time are so cute:

(H/T: Gizmodo)

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