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

History and play research

Giada Cordoni

Lessons from domestication

Jamie Ahloy Dallaire

Associations between types of play

Martine Hausberger

Coping through play

Heather Hill

Having a whale of a time

Michael J Kuba

Play at the extremes

Tracy R. Gleason

Play, imagination, and sociocognitive development

Jean-Baptiste Leca

Creating novel forms of motor play

Heidi Lesscher

Rescue through play

Jeffrey MacCormack

Play and autism

Scott L. Nunes

The many functions of play

Mathias Osvath

Play and the smart bird

Elisabetta Palagi

Adult play and emotional sharing

Sergio Pellis

The developmental neurobiology of play

Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter

Risky play and child development

Jeff Schank

Novel approaches to the study of play

Masaki Shimada

Social networks and play

Marek Spinka

Play and wellbeing

Louk Vanderschuren

A brain made for playing

Registration and Abstract Submission