A scientific study that came out this year is the first to offer firm evidence
that human beings undergo a chemical reaction deep in their brains when
they look at babies. It was conducted by biologist Melanie Glocker of
the University of Muenster, while she was a visiting scholar at the
University of Pennsylvania, and it has resulted in two groundbreaking
papers published in the journals Ethology and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Specifically, Glocker’s series of experiments demonstrated that the act
of looking at baby pictures stirs up an ancient part of the brain
called the nucleus accumbens.

“It’s in the midbrain,” Glocker says, with a slight Teutonic accent,
“which is an evolutionarily older part of the brain involved in reward
processing. This region has also been shown to be activated by a
variety of rewarding stimuli, including sexual stimuli, food stimuli,
and drug stimuli.”

Dr. Glocker is too much of a scientist to say so, but her experiments more or less prove that cuteness is physically addicting. —Vanity Fair