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Scalise Sugiyama, Mendoza, White, & Sugiyama publish in Human Nature

Drs. Michelle Scalise Sugiyama, Marcela Mendoza, Frances White, and Lawrence Sugiyama published a study entitled, “Coalitional Play Fighting and the Evolution of Coalitional Intergroup Aggression,” in Human Nature. Scalise Sugiyama and her colleagues identified a previously unrecognized type of play, coalition play fighting, and tested for its presence in hunter-gatherer societies. They associated eight motor activities — catching, dodging, grappling, kicking, parrying, running, striking and throwing — with both team play fighting and in lethal raiding.

“It does look like hunters-gatherers engaged widely in this type of play,” said Scalise Sugiyama, whose research revolves around the evolution of symbolic behavior, such as storytelling, art and play. “We found evidence for four or more of these motor patterns being present in individual games played in 39 of 46 culture regions around the world.”

Click here to read the full Around the O article. Click here to read the study in Human Nature.