Article

Baby schema modulates the brain reward system in nulliparous women

Brain Behavior Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.67). 06/2009; 106(22):9115-9. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0811620106
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Ethologist Konrad Lorenz defined the baby schema ("Kindchenschema") as a set of infantile physical features, such as round face and big eyes, that is perceived as cute and motivates caretaking behavior in the human, with the evolutionary function of enhancing offspring survival. The neural basis of this fundamental altruistic instinct is not well understood. Prior studies reported a pattern of brain response to pictures of children, but did not dissociate the brain response to baby schema from the response to children. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and controlled manipulation of the baby schema in infant faces, we found that baby schema activates the nucleus accumbens, a key structure of the mesocorticolimbic system mediating reward processing and appetitive motivation, in nulliparous women. Our findings suggest that engagement of the mesocorticolimbic system is the neurophysiologic mechanism by which baby schema promotes human caregiving, regardless of kinship.

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    • "Under normative conditions, specific infant characteristics tend to elicit a positive appraisal and associated caretaking response from adults. For example, the concept of Kindchenschema (baby schema), originally posited by Lorenz (1971), identifies infant physical characteristics (e.g., large eyes, rounded cheeks) as inherently evocative for adults, eliciting an approach response and compelling the provision of care for the immature infant (Glocker et al., 2009). Empirical work is in support of this phenomenon, finding that, compared with pictures of human adults, pictures of human infants activate the attentional system and capture the attention of adults (Brosch, Sander, & Scherer, 2007). "
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    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Emotion
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    • "Cuteness describes a type of attractiveness commonly associated with youth and appearance, which activates in others the motivation to care [6]. Recent studies suggest that cute images stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain which is closely related with the positive emotion of human [3]. This explains why everybody prefers cute persons or stuff in social network, shopping, browsing images/videos on the web and so on. "
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    ABSTRACT: With the development of Internet culture, cuteness has become a popular concept. Many people are curious about what factors making a person look cute. However, there is rare research to answer this interesting question. In this work, we construct a dataset of personal images with comprehensively annotated cuteness scores and facial attributes to investigate this high-level concept in depth. Based on this dataset, through an automatic attributes mining process, we find several critical attributes determining the cuteness of a person. We also develop a novel Continuous Latent Support Vector Machine (C-LSVM) method to predict the cuteness score of one person given only his image. Extensive evaluations validate the effectiveness of the proposed method for cuteness prediction.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015
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    • "Manyofthecorebrainregionsengagedinemotionprocessing arealsoinvolvedwithcoreprocessingofempathy,notably theMCC,INS,andOFC(Fanetal.,2011),andother regionsintheempathynetworkalsoshowstrongactivation inresponsetoinfantfaces,notablytheposteriorsuperior temporalsulcus(pSTS;Leibenluftetal.,2004),supplementary motorarea(SMA—BA6)andprecentralgyrus(preCG;Caria etal.,2012),STG(Ranoteetal.,2004;Stoeckeletal.,2014), PCU(Leibenluftetal.,2004;Glockeretal.,2009b),right supramarginalgyrus(SMG—BA40)(Leibenluftetal.,2004), andalsocerebellum(Ranoteetal.,2004;Glockeretal.,2009b) (Figure1C).Overallthispatternofenhancedactivityinempathy processingregionssuggeststhatitmaycontributetobetter identificationofemotionsbeingexpressed(cognitiveempathy) andenhancedempathicfeelingstowardtheinfant(affective empathy).Furthermore,increasedactivityinpreCGandSMA "
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