The researchers divided around 130 students into two groups and assigned each a task.
One group played an Operation like game that involved removing small objects from a hole without touching the sides.
A second group was tasked with finding a number in a random sequence.
Within each group, participants were shown pictures either of puppies and kittens or of grown cats and dogs.
A subset of participants in one of the groups was also shown pictures of appealing foods.
The participants that saw the puppies and kittens consistently performed better than the others.
As for why viewing these cute images resulted in improved performance, the study doesn't say.
It seems reasonable to speculate, though, that feelings of happiness or warmth elicited by cute pictures helps relieve stress,
thereby enabling the brain to focus and concentrate with greater power.