Brief Report: Effects of Video-Based Group Instruction on Spontaneous Social Interaction of Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Four adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were taught to interact with peers by asking social questions or commenting about others during game play or group activities. Participants were shown a video model and then given an opportunity to perform the social behavior depicted in the model when playing a...

Strong Competition Does Not Always Predict Play Asymmetry: The Case of South American Sea Lions (Otaria flavescens)

Although play fighting has been studied for over a century in both human and non-human animals, quantitative data on marine mammals are still scarce. Here, we investigated play fighting in South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens), one of the most sexually dimorphic species with an extreme polygynous mating system, high...

Analysis of the disruption of maternal social bonds in Octodon degus: Separation distress in restricted reunion tests

Octodon degus is a social caviomorph species that exhibits strong social bonds and robust distress responses to maternal separation. To understand the impact of early social isolation on social motivation, we investigated how social isolation during infancy, associated with repeated restricted interactions with mother and siblings, altered social motivation in...

Unveiling the “secret” of play in dogs (Canis lupus familiaris): Asymmetry and signals

Due to their playful propensity, dogs are a good model to test some hypotheses about play dynamics (length, asymmetry, features of players) and communication (play bow [PBOW]; relaxed open-mouth [ROM] display). We video-recorded 203 play sessions between dogs in an off-leash dog park in Palermo, Italy. Contrary to the expectation,...

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...

Is digital dexterity really related to corticospinal projections?: A re- analysis of the Heffner and Masterton data set using modern comparative statistics

Using a data set of 69 different mammalian species, Heffner and Masterton propose that the longer and deeper the fibres of the corticospinal tract, the greater an animal's digital dexterity. Because of the effects that phylogeny may have upon the extant phenotype of a given species, however, data from a...

Are long digits correlated with high forepaw dexterity? A comparative test in terrestrial carnivores (Carnivora)

The relationship between manus proportions and forepaw dexterity in 33 species of carnivores (Carnivora) was examined. Both the analysis of "raw " data and independent contrasts revealed no significant correlation between the metacarpal-phalanx (MCP) ratio and forepaw dexterity. This result was corroborated by a common origins test, which indicated that...

Integrating Tinbergen’s inquiries: Mimicry and play in humans and other social mammals

Visual signals convey emotions and intentions between individuals. Darwin underlined that human facial expressions represent a shared heritage between our species and many other social mammals. Social play is a fertile field to examine the role and the potential communicative function of facial expressions. The relaxed open-mouth (or play face)...

Two Aspects of play fighting in a Captive Group of Oriental Small clawed Otters Amblonyx cinerea

play fighting constituted most of the social play recorded in a captive group of oriental small?clawed otters, Amblonyx cinerea. Frame by frame inspection of cinÈ film was used for detailed analyses of these behaviours. Two aspects of the organization of play fighting were analysed. In the first, biting, it was...

Social play in juvenile hamsters alters dendritic morphology in the medial prefrontal cortex and attenuates effects of social stress in adulthood

Social play is a fundamental aspect of behavioral development in many species. Social play deprivation in rats alters dendritic morphology in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and we have shown that this brain region regulates responses to social defeat stress in Syrian hamsters. In this study, we tested whether play...

Influence of dominance on the development of play fighting in pairs of male Syrian golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus)

In the highly social rat, male juvenile and adult subordinates initiate more playful contacts with dominant pairmates than vice versa. This study examined the effect of dominance on playful contacts in the relatively asocial golden hamster. Pairs of male hamsters were reared together from weaning, and their play was filmed...

Targets and tactics of agonistic and precopulatory behavior in montane and prairie voles: Their relationship to juvenile play fighting

play fighting by juvenile montane and prairie voles involves attack and defense of the head, neck and shoulders. Since during play animals typically borrow behavior patterns from other functional contexts, two adult behavioral contexts were compared to juvenile play fighting. These were serious fighting and sexual encounters. During serious fighting...

Development of social play in hamsters: Sex differences and their possible functions

In several rodent species social play appears to be necessary for proper deployment of species-specific patterns of aggressive and reproductive behavior. Specifically, in male Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), play has been linked to the development of adult aggression. We quantified several types of social play behavior in same-sex peer groups...

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...

Play fighting in Visayan warty pigs (Sus cebifrons): insights on restraint and reciprocity in the maintenance of play

Restraint is thought to be essential to enable the reciprocity needed for play fighting to remain playful. Descriptions of playing in pigs suggest that they do not exhibit restraint. Analysis of videotaped sequences of play fighting in captive family groups of warty pigs was used to test three hypotheses about...

The paucity of social play in juvenile Mus domesticus: what is missing from the behavioural repertoire?

First paragraph of this paper: play fighting by juvenile mammals generally involves behavioural components that can be predicted from the components involved in the fighting of adults (Meaney et al. 1985). For most species studied, this generalization is supported by findings that show the body targets attacked and defended during...

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