DeBruine LM, Hahn AC & Jones BC (2016). Perceiving infant faces. Current Opinion in Psychology, 7: 87-91. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2015.08.010

Evolutionary theories have long been used to generate testable predictions about responses to adult facial cues in the contexts of mate choice, cooperation, and intrasexual competition, among others. More recently, researchers have also used evolutionary theories to guide research on responses to infant facial cues. Here we review some of this work, focusing on research investigating hormonal regulation of responses to infant facial cuteness and the role of kinship cues in perceptions of infant faces. These studies suggest that sex hormones have dissociable effects on the reward value of and perceptual sensitivity to infant facial cuteness. They also suggest that attitudes and behavior towards infants displaying cues of kinship are complex processes influenced by individual differences.

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