Ever have that feeling of overwhelming cuteness while playing with a baby or puppy? Of course you have! You probably pinched that baby’s cheeks til he or she cried. We won’t judge you though, because we’ve all been there. And Yale University says there’s a scientific reason behind it.

Commonly known as cute aggression, “dimorphous expressions” serves a sociological purpose. It sort of controls our emotions. Oriana Aragon is the lead researcher in the study and she explained the phenomenon to BuzzFeed Life: “We regulate emotions in a lot of different ways. Sometimes we try to rethink the situation. Sometimes we try to push our emotions down with sheer will. Sometimes we remove ourselves from the situation that is causing the emotions. And with this new discovery, we are figuring out that sometimes we respond with the opposite expression from what we feel, and that seems to help to balance us back out too.”

In other words, the level of adorableness your baby and / or puppy possesses is LITERALLY too much to handle. Because you “can’t even,” your brain needs to balance the emotion with the opposite action. Well, this brings a WHOLE new meaning to “You’re so cute, I could just eat you up!”