I call it the Pschearer Play Principle: that mammals have an innate physiological/psychological mechanism to derive pleasure from the non-useful exercise of their capacities. It derives from the need of most mammal brains to grow substantially between birth and some degree of independence from mommy’s mammae. I have found no cases of reptiles or amphibians playing, although I suspect it exists in the smartest birds (parrots, crows, and maybe raptors). And it definitely applies to humans, even extending to higher cognitive levels. (That’s why, for instance, we “play” chess, etc.) Discuss amongst yourselves.
July 31, 2013