Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul [NOOK Book]

Overview

Read Stuart Brown's posts on the Penguin Blog.

From a leading expert, a groundbreaking book on the science of play, and its essential role in fueling our happiness and intelligence throughout our lives

We've all seen the happiness on the face of a child while playing in the school yard. Or the blissful abandon of a golden retriever racing across a lawn. This is the joy of ...
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Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul

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Overview

Read Stuart Brown's posts on the Penguin Blog.

From a leading expert, a groundbreaking book on the science of play, and its essential role in fueling our happiness and intelligence throughout our lives

We've all seen the happiness on the face of a child while playing in the school yard. Or the blissful abandon of a golden retriever racing across a lawn. This is the joy of play. By definition, play is purposeless, all-consuming, and fun. But as Dr. Stuart Brown illustrates, play is anything but trivial. It is a biological drive as integral to our health as sleep or nutrition. We are designed by nature to flourish through play.

Dr. Brown has spent his career studying animal behavior and conducting more than six-thousand "play histories" of humans from all walks of life-from serial murderers to Nobel Prize winners. Backed by the latest research, Play (20,000 copies in print) explains why play is essential to our social skills, adaptability, intelligence, creativity, ability to problem solve and more. Particularly in tough times, we need to play more than ever, as it's the very means by which we prepare for the unexpected, search out new solutions, and remain optimistic. A fascinating blend of cutting-edge neuroscience, biology, psychology, social science, and inspiring human stories of the transformative power of play, this book proves why play just might be the most important work we can ever do.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

Doctor, psychiatrist and public speaker Brown (founder of the National Institute for Play) disagrees with conventional wisdom stating that success depends on keeping your nose to the grindstone. Now 75 years old, Brown condenses decades of first-hand experience and research, cautioning that "play-deficient" lives can burn out adults as well as children; in fact, Brown says, it's serious like a heart attack: "when we lack that feeling of lightness in what we do it should be... as alarming as chest pain." He makes several convincing cases for play's importance: that social play-joking, teasing, flirting-is "the lubrication that allows human society to work and individuals to be close to each other"; that today's college-bound adolescents often lead lives over-structured by parents and teachers, leading to instability and worse (working with "young murderers," he found they were often deprived of "rough-and-tumble play" in childhood); that play "lies at the core of creativity and innovation" for all animal species, especially humans. This close psycho- and sociological examination will yield insights for parents and educators, adults who have a hard time opening up, and anyone else curious about the everyday games people play.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101016237
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/5/2009
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 228,666
  • File size: 842 KB

Meet the Author

Stuart Brown, M.D. is a medical doctor, psychiatrist, clinical researcher, and the founder of the National Institute for Play. He speaks regularly to Fortune 500 companies and groups across the country on the significance of play in our lives. The producer of a three-part PBS series, The Promise of Play, he has also appeared on NPR and was featured in a front-page story in The New York Times Magazine. He lives in Carmel Valley, California.


Christopher Vaughan has been a journalist for more than twenty years. He cowrote the national bestseller The Promise of Sleep.
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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 The promise of play 3

Ch. 2 What is play, and why do we do it? 15

Ch. 3 We are built for play 47

Ch. 4 Parenthood is child's play 77

Ch. 5 The opposite of play is not work 123

Ch. 6 Playing together 157

Ch. 7 Does play have dark side? 175

Ch. 8 A world at play 195

Acknowledgments 219

Index 223

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 8 of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Managers should read this.

    I plan on using some of this as a foundation to foster craftsmanship in software developers. We're good at playing but often corporate America breeds it out of us....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    Valuable info

    Whether you are interested for business, or as a parent...this insightful book gives a lot of resource to use and consider.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Very Necessary

    We have become overly focused on the so called work that needs to be done but the thing that made the capacity for work enjoyable, and more importantly possible, has been disregarded so long that it has become forgotten. This work attempts to shed light on its importance and need of its re visiting and intentional eternal application. Play is necessary and vital to living a healthy balanced life. It allows us to venture back across the fine line between a mundane life and a life of joy, hope, and a blind love filled with sharing.

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  • Posted July 19, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book for a general audience

    I really enjoyed this book. I purchased it after seeing the author speak at a conference. His talk was quite inspirational and convincing about the need to keep playing and to be playful throughout our lives. Unlike many books of this type and caliber, this book is written by an educated scientist and doctor who works at Stanford -- as opposed to a journalist, for example. Thus, the book not only provides conjecture but ample evidence for the arguments being made and case studies. I really learned a lot and feel rejuvenated about my prospects in life after reading this.

    The only down-side is that at times the book does slip into a kind of MBA-style, corporate mantra on how businesses can use this to their advantage. It makes sense that the author writes about this, seeing as he is a consultant for several corporations. But I personally was more interested in the psychological, neuroscience, and some of the sections were more focused on applications of play for business and personal success. Still, those sections were interesting.

    An intelligent, inspiring, scientific book that makes for great reading on a plane!

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    Posted January 17, 2010

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    Posted January 22, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2014

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    Posted October 14, 2010

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