May 14-18, 2023
Erice, Sicily, ITALY

Workshop Organizers

Conference goals

Purpose of the Workshop

Conference goals

Despite Plato realizing the importance of play over two thousand years ago, major advances of its understanding has only emerged in the last few decades. The overall purpose of the workshop is to explore how play improves the adaptability of brain and behavior and how it can produce cultural and evolutionary variability. Talks by internationally renowned scientists will explore the many different approaches that have deepened our understanding of this enigmatic behavior. This will include cross-species comparisons, phylogenetic and mathematical modeling, developmental changes and clinical and psychological approaches. Come and play with us!

Workshop Topics

Conference goals

  • - History and play research
  • - Neurobiology of play
  • - Brain evolution and play
  • - Play and welfare
  • - Clinical approach to play
  • - Play and evolution of complex communication
  • - Anthropology of play
  • - Novel approaches to the study of play: modelling

Speakers & Topics

Gordon Burghardt

The enduring search for the nature of play

Fausto Caruana

Exploring Human Laughter and its contagion using neuroscientific techniques

Giada Cordoni

Play as a tool to understand the domestication syndrome

Jamie Ahloy Dallaire

Commonalities and differences between types of play

Martine Hausberger

Play, Coping and Welfare

Heather Hill

Having a whale of a time!

Michael J Kuba

Play in invertebrates

Tracy R. Gleason

Play, imagination, and sociocognitive development

Jean-Baptiste Leca

Object play and tool use: an elusive connection

Heidi Lesscher

Healthy Play Better Coping: a perspective on play in health and disease

Elisabetta Palagi

Play and the evolution of tolerant and cooperative societies

Sergio Pellis

Play and the development of the social brain

Masaki Shimada

Social networks and social play

Marek Spinka

Play and wellbeing

Pichon Swann

Investigating the impact of video game play on affect and cognition

Louk Vanderschuren

Neural Mechanisms of Social Play Behaviour