Scientists say 'cuteness' ensures a baby's survival

Cuteness can include positive infant sounds and smells

(Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

Has one ever not smiled around a happy baby? It turns out science may be the reason for it. 

Oxford University researchers say cuteness appeals to all a human's senses, not just visual cues. 

Data shows that definitions of cuteness can also include positive infant sounds and smells. 

Researchers reviewed emerging literature on how cute infants and animals effect the brain. 

From an evolutionary standpoint, this very potent protective mechanism ensures survival for otherwise dependent infants. 

"This is the first evidence of its kind to show that cuteness helps infants to survive by eliciting care giving, which cannot be reduced to simple, instinctual behaviors, " University of Oxford Professor Morten Kringelback said. "Care giving involves a complex choreography of slow, deliberate, and long-lasting pro-social behaviors which ignite fundamental brain pleasure systems."

When a baby start to coo or show signs of cuteness, it signals a pleasure system in adults which makes them more inclined to care for the child. 

 The study showed that cuteness affects both men and women regardless if they had children or not.