This Friday was the closing day of the 24th World Congress of the Society of Human Ethology that, for the second time, arrived in South America after touring several countries, such as Italy, United States, Vienna, among others.
Today, both CICS and the DCCS were very well represented by the outstanding researcher and primatologist, Isabel Behncke who, in addition, was part of the Organizing Committee. Her presentation “From play in wild bonobos to festivals in both Neolithic and Contemporary humans”, had a large influx of audience and numerous questions from the public attending.
The researcher, who lived 3 years in the Congo, Africa, and developed 2 thousand hours of observation to carry out this research, focused on the playful part of mature people, wondering why they participate in this play behaviour and have finished their development. To find an answer, she studied the behaviors of primates and their similarities with humans, analyzing the play behaviour of the bonobos that, in her words “are not only one of the most playful species alive but also our closest living relative”.
The study conducted by Isabel Behncke realized that Bonobo behavior and play both have important implications “for our understanding of human evolution, and in particular the role of salient positive emotion in creativity and social connection“, as experienced during during feasts and festivals in humans. Behncke ended with a discussion on the role of festivals in modern and Neolithic times in humans.