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Playing for keeps : Evolutionary relationships between social play and the cerebellum in nonhuman primates.

Authors
  • Lewis, Kerrie P1
  • Barton, Robert A2
  • 1 Evolutionary Anthropology Research Group, University of Durham, USA. [email protected]
  • 2 Evolutionary Anthropology Research Group, University of Durham, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Human nature (Hawthorne, N.Y.)
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2004
Volume
15
Issue
1
Pages
5–21
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-004-1001-0
PMID: 26190291
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

The hypothesis that play behavior is more prevalent in larger-brained animals has recently been challenged. It may be, for example, that only certain brain structures are related to play. Here, we analyze social play behavior with regards to the cerebellum: a structure strongly implicated in motor-development, and possibly also in cognitive skills. We present an evolutionary analysis of social play and the cerebellum, using a phylogenetic comparative method. Social play frequency and relative cerebellum size are positively correlated. Hence, there appears to be a link between the evolutionary elaboration of social play and the cerebellum.

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