Our evolution, similar to the rest of the animal kingdom, has allowed little leeway into purposeless activities. During play our brains are active in dynamic learning processes where development of our social brain is linked to the related flow state that frequently accompanies it.
Animals that play a lot quickly learn how to navigate their world and adapt to it. In short they are smarter.
-Dr. Stuart Brown, 2009
*More on flow states and peak performance: www.time.com
During play we can:
Gerald Edelman: Nobel laureate and technical researcher
“Play’s process of capturing a pretend narrative and combining it with the reality of one’s experience in a playful setting is, at least in childhood, how we develop our major personal understanding of how the world works. We do so initially by imagining possibilities–stimulating what might be, and then testing this against what actually is.”(Brown, 2009)
Marian Diamond: Landmark research done in the 1960s at UC-Berkeley
“Like sleep, play is also an essential long-term organizer of brain development and adaptability…Play seems to be a driving force helping to sculpt how the brain continues to grow and develop.”(Brown, 2009)
Neuroscientist Sergio Pellis of the University of Lethbridge in Canada and Biologist John Nelson of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia report strong positive link between brain size and playfulness for mammals in general.
Researcher Jaak Panksepp
John Byers, an animal play scholar interested in the evolution of play
Brown, Stuart L., and Christopher C. Vaughan. Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul. New York: Avery, 2009. Print.
“Institute for Play The Patterns of Play.” Institute for Play The Patterns of Play. The National Institute For Play, 2009. Web. 28 Apr. 2013.
For further research references: www.nifplay.org
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