Play, animals, resources: The need for a rich (and challenging) comparative environment

Van de Vliert proposes a comprehensive explanation for differences in freedoms in diverse human populations based on climate and monetary resources. This intriguing approach, though derived from an evolutionary view covering all species, is based exclusively on human populations. This anthropocentric lens is challenged by ways of testing Van de...

How is a cricket like a rat? Insights from the application of cybernetics to evasive food protective behaviour

Robbing and dodging is a well-documented food protective behaviour in rats. Recently, we demonstrated that a simple cybernetic rule, gaining and maintaining a preferred interanimal distance, can account for much of the variability in dodging by rats. In this paper, the field cricket, Teleogryllus oceanicus, was used to test whether...

Rough & Tumble Play

Rough-and-tumble play, also called play fighting, is a form of play in which partners compete with one another to gain some advantage (e.g., strike, bite, push onto ground), but do so without the severity or consequences of serious fighting, which it resembles (Aldis, 1975). Play fighting is one of the...

To play or not to play? That’s a resource abundance question

Although play occurs in a wide variety of animals, models of the origins of play behavior are lacking. We propose a novel computational model exploring the evolution of non-social frivolous play. Asexually reproducing semelparous animals can either rest or forage. Foraging occurs when an organism is below an energy threshold....

Social learning in Cartilaginous fish (stingrays Potamotrygon falkneri)

Social learning is considered one of the hallmarks of cognition. Observers learn from demonstrators that a particular behavior pattern leads to a specific consequence or outcome, which may be either positive or negative. In the last few years, social learning has been studied in a variety of taxa including birds...

Problem of reptile play: Environmental enrichment and play behavior in a captive Nile soft-shelled turtle, Trionyx triunguis

Giving captive animals the opportunity to interact with objects in a "playful " manner is often considered a method of environmental enrichment. However, the occurrence of play in nonavian reptiles is controversial and poorly documented. Similarly, the role of environmental enrichment in fostering psychological well-being in reptiles has been little...

She more than he: Gender bias supports the empathic nature of yawn contagion in Homo sapiens

Psychological, clinical and neurobiological findings endorse that empathic abilities are more developed in women than in men. Because there is growing evidence that yawn contagion is an empathy-based phenomenon, we expect that the female bias in the empathic abilities reflects on a gender skew in the responsiveness to others' yawns....

The archaeology of mind [extracts]

To the best of our knowledge, the basic biological values of all mammalian brains were built upon the same basic plan, laid out in consciousness-creating affective circuits that are concentrated in subcortical regions, far below the neocortical "thinking cap " that is so highly developed in humans. Mental life would...

Drawn into the vortex: The facing-past encounter and combat in lekking male greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)

Lekking male greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) compete with neighbours not only by strutting to attract females but also by directly challenging othermales. These challenges include approaching another male and adopting an anti-parallel orientation at close quarters ('facing past encounter') and fighting, in which the birds strike one another with their...

Highly repetitive object play in a cichlid fish (tropheus duboisi)

Whether play occurs in fishes has long been a contentious issue, but recent observations document that social, object, and locomotor play can all be found in some species of teleosts. However, quantitative studies and those documenting individual differences are rare. We recorded hundreds of occurrences of an unusual behavior in...

Glutamatergic modulation of separation distress: Profound emotional effects of excitatory amino acids in chicks

Pre-clinical models of brain affective circuits provide relevant evidence for understanding the brain systems that figure heavily in psychiatric disorders. Social isolation and the resulting separation distress contribute to the onset of depression. In this work, the effects of excitatory amino acids (EAA) on isolation-induced distress vocalization (DV) were assessed...

The missing lemur link: An ancestral step in the evolution of human behaviour

Lemurs share a common distant ancestor with humans. Following their own evolutionary pathway, lemurs provide the ideal model to shed light on the behavioural traits of primates including conflict management, communication strategies and society building and how these aspects of social living relate to those found in the anthropoid primates....

Non-conceptive sexual behavior in spiders: A form of play associated with body condition, personality type, and male intrasexual selection

In the socially polymorphic spider Anelosimus studiosus, males mature early in the reproductive season and recruit to the webs of juvenile females and guard them until they mature. During the period before females mature, males and females engage in repeated bouts of non-conceptive (play) sexual behavior, where the pair courts...

A description of social play by the Australian magpie Gymnorhina tibicen based on Eshkol-Wachman notation.

The social play of magpies consists of play fights, play chases and other less frequent interactions involving hanging from branches and elements of sexual behaviour. play fighting accounted for 60- 80% of social play and was analysed in detail. Two main forms were identified, fast and slow play fights. The...

Development of head and foot coordination in the Australian magpie Gymnorhina tibicen, and the function of play.

Head and foot coordination of juvenile magpies occurs during object or social manipulations beginning at 4 wk after fledging. The pattern supports the hypothesis that play functions as practice in the performance of motor patterns which involve complex skills used in many situations later in life. -from Author

Search