Play, Playfulness, Creativity and Innovation

Play, as defined by biologists and psychologists, is probably heterogeneous. On the other hand, playfulness may be a unitary motivational state. Playful play as opposed to activities that merge into aggression is characterized by positive mood, intrinsic motivation, occurring in a protected context and easily disrupted by stress. Playful play is a good measure of […]

Animal play and animal welfare

Play has long been identified as a potential welfare indicator because it often disappears when animals are under fitness challenge and because it is thought to be accompanied by a pleasurable emotional experience. But animal play is a vexing behavioural phenomenon, characteristically flexible and variable within and between species, with its proximate mechanisms and ultimate […]

How domestication modulates play behavior: A comparative analysis between wild rats and a laboratory strain of Rattus norvegicus

Laboratory rats have been widely used to study the development and neural underpinnings of play behavior. However, it is not known whether domestic rats play in the same way and at the same frequency as their wild counterparts. In this study, the play of juvenile rats from a colony of wild rats maintained in captivity […]

From play to proficiency: The ontogeny of stone-tool use in coastal-foraging long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) from a comparative perception-action perspective

Macaques crack shellfish in coastal environments with specialized stone-hammering techniques. I provide the first examination of skill development from 866 object-manipulation and 7,400 tool-use bouts, collected over 15 months, using longitudinal analyses of infants’ object manipulation (N = 7) and cross-sectional comparisons of manipulative and tool-use behavior (N = 69). I adopt a Perception-action approach, […]

“I am going to groom you”: Multiple forms of play fighting in gray mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus)

Play fighting is a commonly reported form of play that involves competitive interactions that generally do not escalate to serious fighting. Although in many species what are competed over are the body targets that are bitten or struck in serious fighting, for many others, the competition can be over other forms of contact, such as […]