Fun Fact: Black bears are not all black! Cinnamon-colored bears, which may look like brown bears, are fairly common. Kermode bears, also known as "spirit bears," are native to the British Columbia coast, and sport white or cream-colored fur--they can be mistaken for polar bears, but are much smaller and friendlier. Wikimedia Commons
A study at Hiroshima University in Japan suggests that the empathy brought on by looking at pictures of cute baby animals can actually aid in concentration. The experiment involved looking at certain pictures and then completing a concentration task (finding a given number in a random sequence of numbers, or playing the classic game Operation). Those pictures were either “pleasant” (in this case food, like pasta and steak) or adorable (pictures of puppies and kittens). The results are surprisingly strong: after looking at cute baby animal pictures, performance in the Operation experiment increased by 44%, although interestingly, it also took 12% longer to complete the task. The numbers task also saw an increase in performance, though not quite as large (16% more accurate, and 13% faster).
“Kawaii things not only make us happier, but also affect our behavior,” wrote the researchers. So in the interest of improving the concentration of our readers, here’s a gallery of adorable baby animals, and a perfect excuse to look at it.