Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan Flashcards Preview

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1

Chapter Two what is play, and why do we do it? what is play? i hate to say

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

2

Engineers are professional skeptics.

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

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PROPERTIES OF PLAY Apparently purposeless (done for its own sake) Voluntary Inherent attraction Freedom from time Diminished consciousness of self Improvisational potential Continuation desire

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

4

Scott Eberle, an intellectual historian of play and vice president for interpretation at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. Eberle feels that most people go through a six-step process as they play. While neither he nor I believe that every player goes through exactly these steps in this order,

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

5

Anticipation,

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

6

Surprise,

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

7

Pleasure,

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

8

Understanding,

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

9

Strength,

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

10

Poise,

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

11

Once we reach poise, we are ready to go to a new source of anticipation, starting the ride all over again.

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

12

Dutch historian Johan Huizinga offers another good definition of play. He describes it as “a free activity standing quite consciously outside ‘ordinary’ life as being ‘not serious’ but at the same time absorbing the player intensely and utterly. It is an activity connected with no material interest, and no profit can be gained from it. It proceeds within its own proper boundaries of time and space according to fixed rules and in an orderly manner. It promotes the formation of social groupings which tend to surround themselves with secrecy.”

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

13

there is no way to really understand play without also remembering the feeling of play.

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

14

“In a world continuously presenting unique challenges and ambiguity, play prepares these bears for an evolving planet.”

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

15

They found that the bears that played the most were the ones who survived best. This is true despite the fact that playing takes away time, attention, and energy from activities like eating,

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

16

One major theory is that play is simply practice for skills needed in the future.

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

17

But it turns out that cats that are deprived of play-fighting can hunt just fine. What they can’t do—what they never learn to do—is to socialize successfully. Cats and other social mammals such as rats will, if seriously missing out on play, have an inability to clearly delineate friend from foe, miscue on social signaling, and either act excessively aggressive or retreat and not engage in more normal social patterns. In the give-and-take of mock combat, the cats are learning what Daniel Goleman calls emotional intelligence—the ability to perceive others’ emotional state, and to adopt an appropriate response.

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

18

the species with larger brains (compared with body size) played a lot and the species with smaller brains played less.

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

19

Play activity is actually helping sculpt the brain. In play, most of the time we are able to try out things without threatening our physical or emotional well-being. We are safe precisely because we are just playing.

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

20

Our adult imaginations are also continually active, predicting the future and examining the consequences of our behavior before it takes place.

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

21

The genius of play is that, in playing, we create imaginative new cognitive combinations. And in creating those novel combinations, we find what works.

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

22

The secret to brain growth for the rats in the original experiments was that they played with an ever-changing variety of rat “toys” and socialized with other rats.

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

23

“The combination of toys and friends was established early on as vital to qualifying the environment as ‘enriched,’”

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

24

Merely changing the surroundings or offering varied challenges was not enough to get dramatic brain development,

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

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This solitary, nonplay activity resulted in neural growth in only one area of the brain, as opposed to the whole-brain growth that play provided.

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

26

Sleep and dreams appear to be organizers of higher brain function.

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

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Studies have shown that people remember things better if they have a good night of sleep after learning something. We know that REM sleep is most frequent during the periods of most rapid brain development, and the theory is that, during development, sleep and dreams probably contribute to this testing and strengthening of brain circuits.

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

28

Play also promotes the creation of new connections that didn’t exist before, new connections between neurons and between disparate brain centers.

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

29

I find it exciting to see parallels between these two major behaviors—sleep and play. It’s reasonable to see them both as essential long-term organizers of brain development and adaptability.

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

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There is laboratory evidence that there is a play deficit much like the well-documented sleep deficit. And just as a sleep deficit generates a need for extra “rebound” sleep to catch up, laboratory research shows that animals that are deprived of play will engage in “rebound” play when allowed to do so again.

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

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