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Focus Group
Understanding the Mechanisms and Evolution of Play
2nd KLI Focus Group
2018-07-02 12:00 - 2018-07-13 14:00
Organized by Jeffrey Schank (UC Davis, CA)

To develop a clearer and deeper theoretical and empirical understanding of the evolutionary mechanisms that produce play and how these mechanisms may be transformed over evolutionary time. This deeper understanding will be achieved by bringing together experts on the (1) neurobehavioral mechanisms of play, (2) comparative analysis of play in diverse taxa, (3) modern statistical methods in comparative biology, and (4) evolutionary computational models of play. Theoretical and conceptual work accomplished will be published in a book that will be the first systematic theoretical, empirical, and conceptual analysis of the evolution of play.



  • Gordon M. Burghardt (University of Tennessee)
  • Sergio M. Pellis (University of Lethbridge)
  • Ellsabetta Palagi (University of Pisa)
  • Jeffrey Schank (UC Davis)
  • Paul Smaldino (UC Merced)
  • Louk Vanderschuren (University of Utrecht)
  • Brian C. O'Meara (University of Knoxville)


Invited participants only!