Play in evolution and development

  title={Play in evolution and development},
  author={Anthony D. Pellegrini and Danielle Dupuis and Peter K. Smith},
  journal={Developmental Review},

The role of play objects and object play in human cognitive evolution and innovation

The model suggests that salient material culture innovation may occur or be primed in a late childhood or adolescence sweet spot when cognitive and physical abilities are sufficiently mature but before the full onset of the concerns and costs associated with reproduction.

Current Perspectives on the Biological Study of Play: Signs of Progress

A brief synopsis of current play research covering issues of adaptive function, phylogeny, causal mechanisms, and development is presented to selectively highlight contemporary areas of research in which the underlying processes and consequences of play should not be ignored.

Childhood, Play and the Evolution of Cultural Capacity in Neanderthals and Modern Humans

The life history pattern of modern humans is characterized by the insertion of childhood and adolescent stages into the typical primate pattern. It is widely recognized that this slowing of the

Social play in captive wolves (Canis lupus): not only an immature affair

Animal social play represents an important tool for self- and social-assessment purposes during the juvenile phase. Nevertheless, this activity may continue into adulthood as well providing immediate

The evolution of social play by learning to cooperate

The theoretical results show that social play is a novel mechanism for the indirect evolution of cooperation and the link between social play and subsequent adult cooperation using an agent-based model.

Play behaviour: A functional approach by focussing on adult-adult social play in the bonobo (Pan paniscus)

It is hard to find an appropriate definition of ‘play’ in animals that encompasses all its forms and varieties. Consequently, the adaptive function of play is a highly debated subject. Here, we

Locomotor play drives motor skill acquisition at the expense of growth: A life history trade-off

Studying wild Assamese macaques, behavioral observations of locomotor play and motor skill acquisition are combined with quantitative measures of natural food availability and individual growth rates measured noninvasively via photogrammetry to show that investments in locomotorplay were indeed beneficial by acceleratingMotor skill acquisition but carried sizable costs in terms of reduced growth.

Playing with language, creating complexity: Has play contributed to the evolution of complex language?

It is argued that enhanced play may have contributed to the emergence of complex language systems in modern humans (Homo sapiens) and if correct, the shorter childhood of Neanderthals—involving restrictions on time to experiment and innovate—may have restricted their language system.

Locomotor development and gap crossing behaviour in Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus)

This thesis has shown that complex locomotor behaviour develops slowly during ontogeny and this may have implications for orangutan life history in different types of habitat.

Differences in play can illuminate differences in affiliation: A comparative study on chimpanzees and gorillas

Findings on the study groups of apes can be a valuable starting point to expand the study of social play in the great apes to evaluate if inter-individual affiliative relationships really account for the differences in play distribution and dynamics.



Does play matter? Functional and evolutionary aspects of animal and human play

Abstract In this paper I suggest that play is a distinctive behavioural category whose adaptive significance calls for explanation. Play primarily affords juveniles practice toward the exercise of

Evolutionary perspective on human growth.

  • B. Bogin
  • Biology
    Annual review of anthropology
  • 1999
The author concludes that the human adolescent growth spurt in stature and skeletal maturation is species-specific and not found in any other primate species.

The Origins of Human Nature: Evolutionary Developmental Psychology

The authors point out that an evolutionary-developmental perspective allows one to view gene-environment interactions, the significance of individual differences, and the role of behaviour and development in evolution in much greater depth.

A theory of human life history evolution: Diet, intelligence, and longevity

A theory is proposed that unites and organizes observations and generates many theoretical and empirical predictions that can be tested in future research by comparative biologists, archeologists, paleontologists, biological anthropologists, demographers, geneticists, and cultural anthropologists.

Playing with Play What Can We Learn About Cognition, Negotiation, and Evolution?

In these papers, it is considered how analyses of social play in nonhuman animals (hereafter animals) can inform inquiries about the evolution of cognitive mechanisms and what play can tell us about the emergence of mind in animals.

Mammalian Play: Training for the Unexpected

The "training for the unexpected" hypothesis can account for some previously puzzling kinematic, structural, motivational, emotional, cognitive, social, ontogenetic, and phylogenetic aspects of play and may also account for a diversity of individual methods for coping with unexpected misfortunes.

Behavioural processes affecting development: Tinbergen's fourth question comes of age

  • J. Stamps
  • Psychology, Biology
    Animal Behaviour
  • 2003
Several emerging areas of research in the interface between behaviour and development are considered, with a focus on behavioural processes that are likely to affect the development and maintenance of interindividual variation in a wide array of morphological, physiological and behavioural traits.

Evolutionary Processes and Metaphors.

Processes and Metaphors in Evolution Evolution Outward and Forward The Evolution of Life - An Overview of General Probelms and a Specific Study of the Origin of Genetic Code Control of Variation in

The Nature of Play: Great Apes and Humans.

  • D. Galloway
  • Psychology
    Child and adolescent mental health
  • 2007
New data are presented suggesting that play during the juvenile period provides children and juvenile apes with opportunities to develop skills that are or will be important for their respective gender roles as adults, as well as investigating the similarities and differences between great ape and human play behaviors.