NIMBioS: Special Collection Explores Origin and Evolution of Play

An adult Gelada monkey plays with a juvenile. A new special issue of Adaptive Behavior examines the evolution and origin of play via mathematical and computational approaches. Credit: Elisabetta Palagi

An adult Gelada monkey plays with a juvenile. A new special issue of Adaptive Behavior examines the evolution and origin of play via mathematical and computational approaches. Credit: Elisabetta Palagi

Research on the evolution and function of play at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) at UT has culminated in a special issue of the journal Adaptive Behavior. The papers represent the first systematic use of computational and mathematical models to investigate the theoretical and empirical origins of play.

The collection heavily features the research of Gordon M. Burghardt, who works on many aspects of animal behavior, play behavior, ethical treatment of animals, and zoo animal welfare. Burghardt, a UT Alumni Distinguished Service Professor, holds appointments in the Departments of Psychology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Read the full story and access the special issue of the journal on the NIMBioS website.