Play in evolution and development

@article{Pellegrini2007PlayIE,
  title={Play in evolution and development},
  author={Anthony D. Pellegrini and Danielle Dupuis and Peter K. Smith},
  journal={Developmental Review},
  year={2007},
  volume={27},
  pages={261-276}
}

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

TLDR
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

TLDR
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

TLDR
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

TLDR
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?

TLDR
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)

TLDR
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

TLDR
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.
...

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