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The Evolutionary and Psychological Significance of Play

A Special Issue of Learning & Behavior

Call for preliminary proposal is closed
(The deadline was November 1, 2016)

Although members of a myriad array of species play, all play is not the same. Species that play differ in terms of the forms and functions of their play and so it is possible that the evolutionary benefits of play vary from species to species. If so, is it the case that the evolutionary significance of play varies systematically, with additional benefits being added as species increase in cognitive or social complexity? Or are the benefits of play distributed more equally across the animal kingdom? What are the evolutionary and psychological benefits of play? Answering these questions is complex and will require contributions from a number of fields including animal behavior, animal welfare, anthropology, neuroscience, evolutionary biology and psychology. To address these questions, Learning & Behavior is inviting contributions to a special issue on the evolutionary and psychological significance of play. The papers can be reviews, empirical or theoretical in nature.

November 1, 2016: Preliminary proposals due. Please email Lance Miller and Alex de Voogt with a tentative title and a 250- to 500-word description of your proposed paper, making clear its relevance to the evolutionary and psychological significance of play. Indicate all authors and affiliations, as well as the contact information for the corresponding author.

December 1, 2016: Decisions on preliminary proposals emailed to authors.

March 1, 2017: Invited full papers due. The papers will go through the regular peer review process.

Guest Editors/Questions: Lance Miller, Chicago Zoological Society – Brookfield Zoo and Alex de Voogt, American Museum of Natural History.

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