A Time for Cute Pictures (06-08-20)

Yoshikawa, Nittono, and Masaki detail the cognitive benefits of looking at cute images.  They report that “QE [quiet eye] is a gaze phenomenon, and its duration . . . is thought to represent attention control. . . . several studies have confirmed that viewing cute pictures can induce focal attention, thus improving performance in fine motor tasks. . . . We randomly assigned participants to either the baby-animal pictures group or the adult-animal pictures group, based on pictures viewed prior to the task. . . . task precision increased after viewing pictures of baby animals in both the post-test and pressure test. Furthermore, QE duration was also prolonged after viewing cute pictures in the post-test, but not in the pressure test. Neither performance improvement nor QE prolongation were found after viewing pictures of adult animals. These results suggested that simply viewing cute pictures could prolong QE duration without pressure, and might provide a beneficial effect on performance, even in a high-pressure situation.”

Naoki Yoshikawa, Hiroshi Nittono, and Hiroaki Masaki. “Effects of Viewing Cute Pictures on Quiet Eye Duration and Fine Motor Task Performance.”  Frontiers in Psychology, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01565