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Products of the NIMBioS Working Group:

Play, Evolution, and Sociality


Burghardt GM, Albright JD, Davis KM. 2016. Motivation, development and object play: Comparative perspectives with lessons from dogs. Behaviour 153(6-7): 727-747. [PDF]

Byosiere SE, Espinosa J, Smuts B. 2016. Investigating the function of play bows in adult pet dogs (Canis lupus familiaris). Behavioural Processes 125:106-113. [PDF]

Byosiere SE, Espinosa J, Marshall-Pescini S, Smuts B, Range F. 2016. Investigating the function of play bows in dog and wolf puppies (Canis lupus familiaris, Canis lupus occidentalis). PLoS ONE 11:e0168570. [Online]

Trisko RK, Sandel A, Smuts B. 2016. Affiliation, dominance and friendship among companion dogs. Behaviour 153(6-7):693-725. [Online]

Auerbach J, Kanarek AR, Burghardt GM. 2015. To play or not to play? That’s a resource abundance question. Adaptive Behavior. [Online]

Bell HC, Bell GD, Schank JA, Pellis SM. 2015. Attack and defense of body targets in play fighting: Insights from simulating the ‘keep away game’ in rats. Adaptive Behaviour.

Durand S, Schank JC. 2015. The evolution of social play by learning to cooperate. Adaptive Behavior, 23(6): 340-353. [Online]

Grunloh N, Mangel M. 2015. State-dependent behavioral theory and the evolution of play. Adaptive Behavior, 23(6): 362-370. [Online]

O'Meara BC, Graham KL, Pellis SM, Burghardt GM. 2015. Evolutionary models for the retention of adult-adult play in primates: The roles of diet and other factors associated with resource acquisition. Adaptive Behaviour.

Pellis SM, Burghardt GM, Palagi E, Mangel M. 2015. Modeling play: distinguishing between origins and current functions. Adaptive Behavior, 23(6): 331-339. [Online]

Pellis SM, Burghardt GM. 2017. Play and exploration. In Call J (ed.), Burghardt BM, Pepperberg I, Snowdon C, Zentall T (assoc. eds.), APA handbook of comparative psychology: Concepts, History, and Methods 1:699-722. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Spinka M, Paleckova M, Rehakova M. 2016. Metacommunication in social play: The meaning of aggression-like elements is modified by play face in Hanuman langurs (Semnopithecus entellus). Behaviour, 153(6-7): 727-747.

Smuts B, Bauer E, Ward C. 2015. Rollovers during play: Complementary perspectives. Behavioural Processes, 116: 50-52. [Online]

Palagi E, Burghardt G, Smuts B, Rehakova-Petru M, Cordoni G, Dall'Olio S, Fouts H, Siviy S, Pellis S. 2015. Rough-and-tumble play as a window on animal communication. Biological Reviews.

Palagi E, Norscia I, Spada G. 2014. Relaxed open mouth as a playful signal in wild ring-tailed lemurs. American Journal of Primatology, 76(11): 1074-1083. [Online]

Shimada M, Sueur C. 2014. The importance of social play networks for wild chimpanzees at Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania. American Journal of Primatology, 76: 1025. [Online]

Smuts B. 2014. Social behavior among companion dogs with an emphasis on play. In J Kaminsky, S Marshall-Pescini (eds.), The Social Dog, Elsevier Inc., pp. 105-130.

Cordoni G, Palagi E. 2013. Smiling and primate play faces: Origins and functions. Human Evolution, 28: 1-12.

Dall'Olio S. 2013. PhD dissertation. Universita di Firenze, Firenze, Italy.

Grunloh NR. 2013. Senior Thesis: A stochastic dynamic model of the behavioral ecology of play. University of California, Santa Cruz, CA.

Mancini G, Ferrari PF, Palagi E. 2013. Rapid facial mimicry in geladas. Scientific Reports, 3: 1527. [Online]

Mancini G, Ferrari PF, Palagi E. 2013. In play we trust. Rapid facial mimicry predicts the duration of playful interactions in Geladas. PLoS ONE, 8(6): e66481. [Online]

Palagi E. 2013. Playing alone and with others - A lesson from animals. In: Coplan RJ, Bowker J (eds.), A Handbook of Solitude: Psychological Perspectives on Social Isolation, Social Withdrawal, and Being Alone. [Online]

Shimada M. 2013. Dynamics of the temporal structures of playing clusters and cliques among wild chimpanzees in Mahale Mountains National Park. Primates, 54(3): 245-257. [Online]

Shimada M. 2013. Wild chimpanzees can perform social grooming and social play behaviors simultaneously. Primates, 54(4): 315-317. [Online]

Ciani F, Dall'Olio S, Stanyon R, Palagi E. 2012. Social tolerance and adult play in macaque societies: A comparison with different human cultures. Animal Behavior, 84(6): 1313-1322. [Online]

Palagi E, Cordoni G. 2012. The right time to happen: Play developmental divergence in the two pan species. PLoS ONE, 7(12): e52767. [Online]

Spada G. 2012-2013. Gioco sociale e comunicazione multimodale in Lemur catta: Uno studio etologico in natura. Universita di Pisa.


Spinka M. 9 September 2015. Animal play behavior: Its role in cognition, evolution and welfare. Paper presented at the Jornada Uruguayas de Comportamiento Animal, September 7-9, 2015, Montevideo, Uruguay.

Spinka M. 29 September 2014. The role of play in shaping of behavioural phenotypes. Paper presented at the Zif and DFG Workshop, New perspectives in behavioural development: adaptive shaping of behaviour over a lifetime? September 29-October 2, 2014, Bielefeld, Germany.

Burghardt GM. 2013 August 5. The origins of playfulness. International Ethological Conference, Newcastlegateshead, UK.

Burghardt GM. 2013 February 19. The play factor in religious rituals: Evidence from an unexpected source. Conference on the Value of Play, U.S. Play Coalition, Clemson University, SC.

Cordoni G. 2013 March 18-22. Let you play your cards right! Play behaviour and the maintenance of peaceful social relationships in primates. Obstacles and Catalysis of Peaceful Behavior, Lorentz Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Palagi E. 2013 March 18-22. Natural conflict resolution: Retrospect and prospect. Plenary talk, Lorentz Center, University of Leiden, The Netherlands.

Shimada M. 20 August 2013. Dynamics and network of social play among wild chimpanzees in Mahale Mountains National Park. Wildlife Research Center, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.

Shimada M. 21-26 May 2013. The network of social play among wild chimpanzees. SUNBELT33, International Netowrk for Social Network Analysis, Hamburg, Germany.

Smuts B. 2013 July 28 - August 1. Keynote Address: Social behavior in wolves and dogs. 50th Annual Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society, Boulder, CO.

Burghardt GM. 2012 September 17. The origins and biology of animal play. Zoology Department, Oxford University, UK.

Burghardt GM. 2012 September 14. The origins, evolution, and interconnections of play and ritual: Setting the stage. Play, Ritual and Believe in Animals and In Early Human Societies, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge University, UK.

Burghardt GM. 2012 September 13. Signposts of progress in understanding the mystery of play: A bottom up approach. Play, Ritual and Believe in Animals and In Early Human Societies, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge University, UK.

Burghardt GM. 2012 September 10. Origins and biology of play. Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany.

Shimada M. 13-17 August 2012. Balance theory and the dynamics of temporal structures of playing clusters and cliques among wild chimpanzees. The 24th Congress on the International Primatological Society, Cancun, Mexico.

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From 2008 until early 2021, NIMBioS was supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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