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October 09, 2019 - Scientific American

Play May Be a Deeper Part of Human Nature Than We Thought

Play May Be a Deeper Part of Human Nature Than We Thought
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Playing is a universal human behavior and has therefore long been a subject of intense scientific interest. Nevertheless, because play is unprompted and natural—characteristics that do not usually lend themselves to laboratory work—much about its nature has remained mysterious.

But in a thrilling study published recently in Science, experimenters concocted a work-around for this dilemma: they taught rats how to play a common childhood game. And in doing so, they made a series of discoveries suggesting that play is an even deeper part of our nature than previously thought.

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