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Posts Tagged "play"

Beautiful Minds

The Need for Pretend Play in Child Development

iStock_000013945424Small_610_300_s_c1_center_center

[This post was co-authored with Jerome L. Singer and Dorothy G. Singer] Many people often think of play in the form of images of young children at recess engaging in games of tag, ball, using slides, swings, and physically exploring their environments. But physical play is not the only kind of play. We often use [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Profiling Serial Creators

bored_student

Every single day, all across the globe, extraordinarily creative and talented students sit in our classrooms bored out of their minds. These budding innovators may differ drastically in what particular domain captivates their attention, whether it’s science and engineering, architecture and design, arts, music and entertainment, business and finance, law, or health care. Nevertheless, as Richard Florida [...]

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Dog Spies

4 Days Left to Play with Your Dog, for Science

I was probably 12 years old (fine, 13) the last time I played with Barbies. School was closed for a snow day, and one of my best friends trudged over to my house for mac and cheese and Barbies. But after choosing our dolls and clothing, we stopped. We couldn’t remember what came next. All [...]

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Guest Blog

How Do You Play with Your Dog?

Millions of people around the world come home to four legs and a wagging tail, and many spend some of their time together playing. While dog-dog play has been studied extensively, dog-person play, which takes on a different form and appears to have different rules, has not attracted nearly as much scholarly attention. At the [...]

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Not bad science

Chimpanzees React To A Robo-Doll

Once the chimps calmed down they actually quite liked the robodoll, offering it toys to play with

A large portion of what animals do is interact with each other. As a social species, we can hardly go an hour without some kind of interaction with another human, be it face-to-face or via text or email. Even animals that aren’t particularly social still generally have to interact with each other once in a [...]

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Not bad science

Any Black Bear Experts Out There?

The male descending the tree while the female remains at the top. She followed shortly after.

I recently took a trip to Yellowstone national park, which, as expected, was an amazing place. The geysers and hot water pools were beautiful; walking around there you felt like you were on another planet. Just south of yellowstone, I stayed in the Grand Teton national park for a couple nights, and there I was [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

How To Coach Parents [Audio]

Most moms and dads are not taught how to parent. We are supposed to just know what to do, I suppose. But even if you have a relatively calm and obedient child, moments inevitably arise when you could really use an owner’s manual. Belatedly, I think I’ve found one. Parent-child interaction therapy is a kind [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Is Playtime All Fun and Games?

argo play bow

Why do animals like to play? Scientists have often used the word play simply to describe any behavior that does not have any apparent adaptive function. In The Animal Mind, James L. Gould and Carol Grant Gould describe play as an “apparently purposeless activity with no immediate adaptive goal, utilizing species-typical motor programs that are [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Friday Fun: Red Panda versus Pumpkin

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Is the red panda playing? Maybe. Just a little bit of Friday Fun. Teaser photo via Fotopedia/griangrafanna

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The Thoughtful Animal

Snowboarding Crows: The Plot Thickens

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On Friday, I quickly posted this video, which shows a crow – likely a hooded crow (thanks to a commenter at Andrew Revkin’s Dot Earth blog for the ID) – appearing to “snowboard” down the roof of a Russian building, using a small object as a makeshift snowboard. Over at The Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal also [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Friday Fun: Snowboarding Crow [video]

crow

This video (via Al Dove on twitter), which appears to be from Russia, shows a crow (can anybody confirm the identity of the bird?) engaging in an activity that can only be described as play. There is at least some scientific evidence (behind a paywall) that corvids, as well as some species of parrots and [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Animal Imagination: The Dog That Pretended to Feed a Frog (and Other Tales)

Can dogs pretend? This is the question I asked yesterday, prompted by Sheril’s story: …this afternoon Happy did something unusual. She carried a toy frog over to her water bowl, and gently put it down as pictured. Given its orientation, I’m skeptical that her placement was an accident. The frog continues to sit like this [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Can Dogs Pretend?

Earlier today, friend-of-the-blog Sheril Kirshenbaum (blog, twitter) asked a question on her blog, Culture of Science: Do Dogs Play “Make Believe?”: …this afternoon Happy did something unusual. She carried a toy frog over to her water bowl, and gently put it down as pictured. Given its orientation, I’m skeptical that her placement was an accident. [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Monday Pets: Are Those Dogs Playing or Fighting?

This post was chosen as an Editor

The party continues! Today you get a double-dose of Monday Pets. Here’s one from the archives. Later today, you can expect a new one. I often write about animals that the average person does not interact with all that much on a day-to-day basis. Today, I introduce something I like to call “Monday Pets”. The [...]

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