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...

Comparative analyses of the role of postnatal development on the expression of play fighting

Whether it is that animals are young so that they can play, or whether it is that they play because they are young, play should be more prevalent in species that have a greater degree of postnatal development. This hypothesis is tested by comparative analyses within two mammalian orders (primates...

Do big-brained animals play more? comparative analyses of play and relative brain size in mammals

It has been hypothesized that play is more likely to be present in larger brained species. We tested this hypothesis in mammals using independent contrasts, a method that controls for phylogenetic relatedness. Comparisons across 15 orders revealed that the prevalence and complexity of play was significantly correlated with brain size,...

An Evolutionary framework to understand foraging, wanting, and Desire: The Neuropsychology of the SEEKING system

The SEEKING system of mammalian brains needs to be understood from multiple scientific and clinical perspectives. SEEKING theory provides new neuropsychoanalytic perspectives for understanding the human mind and its behavioral and emotional disorders and considers dimensions of experience that have traditionally been subsumed under concepts such as "drives " and...

Disentangling the contribution of the attacker from that of defender in the differences in the intraspecific fighting in two species of voles

In a previous study we found that in the intraspecific, resident?intruder fights of males of two vole species there were significant differences in the frequency of use of some of the behavior patterns used for attack and defense. To determine whether the species differences were due to differences in the...

Identification of the possible origin of the body target that differentiates play fighting from serious fighting in syrian golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus)

play fighting in the Syrian Golden hamster Mesocricetus auratus can be distinguished from serious fighting by the targets attacked in each case. In play fighting, the animals attack and defend the cheeks and cheek pouches, whereas in serious fighting they attack and defend the rump and lower flanks. Since play...

Rough-and-tumble play as a window on animal communication

Rough-and-tumble play (RT) is a widespread phenomenon in mammals. Since it involves competition, whereby one animal attempts to gain advantage over another, RT runs the risk of escalation to serious fighting. Competition is typically curtailed by some degree of cooperation and different signals help negotiate potential mishaps during RT. This...

Sharing playful mood: rapid facial mimicry in Suricata suricatta

One of the most productive behavioural domains to study visual communication in mammals is social play. The ability to manage play fighting interactions can favour the development of communicative modules and their correct decoding. Due to their high levels of social cohesion and cooperation, slender-tailed meerkats (Suricata suricatta) are a...

Relaxed Open Mouth reciprocity favours playful contacts in South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens)

Fine-tuning communication is well documented in mammalian social play which relies on a large variety of specific and non-specific signals. Facial expressions are one of the most frequent patterns in play communication. The reciprocity of facial signals expressed by the players provides information on their reciprocal attentional state and on...

Affective consciousness: Core emotional feelings in animals and humans

The position advanced in this paper is that the bedrock of emotional feelings is contained within the evolved emotional action apparatus of mammalian brains. This dual-aspect monism approach to brain-mind functions, which asserts that emotional feelings may reflect the neurodynamics of brain systems that generate instinctual emotional behaviors, saves us...

Analysis of the targets and tactics of conspecific attack and predatory attack in northern grasshopper mice

Comparisons of tactics of fighting between species are often difficult to make since the body targets attacked may differ. Thus it becomes difficult to assess whether differences in fighting tactics are due to species?specific differences in the tactics themselves or due to the different targets attacked. A solution to this...

play fighting in the Syrian golden hamster Mesocricetus auratus waterhouse, and its relationship to serious fighting during postweaning development

In the Syrian golden hamster Mesocricetus auratus, play fighting preceds serious fighting during postweaning development, and so may be thought to be a developmental precursor to adull aggression. However, based on both the targets attackedóthat is, the cheek pouches during play fighting and the rump or flanks during serious fighting,...

Beyond a joke: From animal laughter to human joy?

1st paragraph of this short essay: In the beginning was the word…but was the word funny? Research suggests that the capacity for human laughter preceded the capacity for speech during evolution of the brain. Indeed, neural circuits for laughter exist in very ancient regions of the brain (1), and ancestral forms of play...

Peripubertal stress increases play fighting at adolescence and modulates nucleus accumbens CB1 receptor expression and mitochondrial function in the amygdala

play fighting is a highly rewarding behavior that helps individuals to develop social skills. Early-life stress has been shown to alter play fighting in rats and hamsters as well as to increase aggressive behaviors at adulthood. However, it is not known whether individual differences in stress-induced play fighting are related...

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....

Social play, social grooming, and the regulation of social relationships

Summary Social grooming and rough-and-tumble play, along with caressing and hand-shaking, have something important in common, touching. Physical contact with another can be an essential ingredient of social communication - gentle touching can place the other animal at ease, whereas rough contact can do the opposite. Although the underlying neurobiology...

Escalation of Feline Predation Along a Gradient From Avoidance Through “Play” to Killing

In this article, we show that feline predation involves a continuous gradient of activation between defense and attack and that predatory "play " results from an interaction of the two. Benzodiazepines (oxazepam, diazepam) escalated attack toward killing, so that cats that had avoided mice prior to the drug now played...

Play and post-conflict mechanisms in wolves: Acomparison with human and non-human primates

Cooperation is a series of coordinated interactions in which participants take turns in giving and receiving benefits. Nevertheless, competition is the other side of the coin and it may generate aggression among conspecifics loosing social cohesion. Many social species have developed behavioral strategies to cope with social damage caused by...

Neuroevolutionary sources of laughter and social joy: Modeling primal human laughter in laboratory rats

Rats make abundant 50 kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) when they play and exhibit other positive social interactions. This response can be dramatically increased by tickling animals, especially when directed toward bodily areas toward which animals direct their own play solicitations (e.g., nape of the neck). The analysis of this system...

The roles of phylogeny and sociality in the evolution of social play in muroid rodents

A composite index incorporating the frequency and structure (target, type of defence, etc.) of play fighting was used to compare the complexity of such play in 13 species of muroid rodents whose behaviour has been previously described. A phylogenetic comparison of the distribution of the complexity of play fighting revealed...

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