Dienstag, 7. August 2018

The Play Face:

"One of the most prominent features of play is the play face."

Suzanne Chevalier-Skolnikoff 

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"Bateson noted that the >play< of monkeys is similar to aggression. He theorized that such behavior could occur and not turn into a fight only if the animals were capable of some kind of signal which would carry the message >This is play,< or >These actions in which we now engage do not denote what those actions for which they stand would denote.<"

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"Van Lawick-Goodall (1968) reports that play usually started without the initiator showing the play face, and that only one animal at her study site fairly regularly initiated play with the expression. She observed that it was after play was well under way and particularly during contact play that the play face became evident."

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"It seems reasonable to suggest that the play face serves primarily as the expression of an emotional state associated with intense playfulness."

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"I suggest that the nonhuman primate play face is basically an emotional expression representing the emotional feeling state, playfulness (which probably feels subjectively similar-pleasurable and exciting-both to nonhuman primates and to man)."

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"Van Lawick-Goodall has emphasized, that infants take chances and learn the skills of leaping only in the relatively safe context of play."

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"The well-known work of Harlow and his colleagues indicates that at least for rhesus monkeys peer contact, and presumably play, during infancy may be essential for the subsequent adult manifestation of appropriate sexual and maternal behaviors. While animals raised in isolation or in the exclusive company of their mothers do not attain normal adult sexual or parental competence, animals raised with peers do (Harlow 1971; Harlow and Harlow 1965; Harlow, Harlow, and Suomi 1971). "

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"In two subsequent experiments, six-month-old and one-year-old isolation-raised, and consequently abnormal, animals were given the opportunity to interact with three-monthold infants (Harlow and Suomi 1971; Harlow, Harlow and Suomi 1971). The isolates first responded to the tiny infants with fear and retreat. But the infants persistently followed the retreating isolates and clung to them as they would have clung to their mothers. Soon the isolates, unable to avoid contact with the persistent infants, began to respond to them with infant-like clinging. Clinging was followed by exploration, and within weeks play began to develop between the isolate-infant pairs. The more infantile play patterns appeared first, and the more mature kinds of play patterns appeared later. Within six months of interaction with their infant "socializers" the isolates' behavior, including their play behavior, appeared to be normal. Harlow (1971) has suggested that as play progresses from one ontogenetic stage to another, each stage may prepare the way for the subsequent stage. The finding that the older isolation-raised animals went through the same play stages as infants normally pass through during ontogenetic development strongly supports this theory. It may be that while early developmental stages may not function as direct practice for adult behavior, the complete series of stages may ultimately lead to the ability to perform adult behavior patterns. "

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"Curiosity, exploration, and play appear to serve one general adaptive function: to put an animal in touch with his animate and inanimate environment. They provide a motivational mechanism that will insure assessment, experimentation, and learning about the environment." 

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